Hundreds of December journalism graduates, along with plenty of restless reporters, are thinking about more than the holidays right now; they’re worried about resume reels and the job hunt.
WDSU anchor/reporter Aubry Killion says he remembers those days when he was constantly concerned about his reel and whether it would impress news directors. Now five years after graduation, he’s in New Orleans on his third job, and he has some things to share about reels — especially the portion where the reporter appears on camera.
1. Don’t stand still in stand ups. You need to move, even it’s just to gesture or walk. Standing still is boring to the viewer, and a news director will think so, too.
2. Facebook Live gives everyone the opportunity to practice live reporting skills and to do it often. Don’t be satisfied with just one newscast live shot or Facebook Live. Always come back. Demonstrate, scene set and do more interviews.
3. Killion believes live interviews are much better than interviews recorded earlier and rolled into the live shot. (They feel like they have more energy and spontaneity.)
4. Remember that what you wear counts. We live in a more casual society than in decades past, but there are some rules of professional dress that will never change. Be neat and pulled together, and never, never, never try to be sexy.
5. Finally, if you’re reporting or anchoring sports, let your personality show. A sense of humor is almost a requirement now in TV sports. Have some fun, but don’t try to be cute.
Killion worked at KTBS in Shreveport, Louisiana and KFSM in Fort Smith, Arkansas before landing his dream job in his hometown.
Story contributed by Nancy Dupont, who teaches media performance in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi.