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Coping with a Changing Newsroom

Change is good. Change is necessary. Change is inevitable. But change can be both unsettling and demoralizing. After years of shooting, writing and editing stories a certain way, photographers are finding that change is enveloping their newsrooms. The nonlinear news room is a new animal, creating more waves of change in a few short years than we saw in the previous 20. But from a photographer's perspective, the learning curve while steep, can ultimately be rewarding.

The majority of us enjoy the technical aspects of our jobs, learning and adapting to new equipment as it has evolved and for most of us the editing and airing of our tape is the culmination of the newsgathering process. The education we've had to undergo, to grasp nonlinear editing, has been at times frustrating but the net result for many of us has been a real awakening, and for those of us who have been editing for years it's generated a new excitement about our craft.

Timeline editing, whether with an Avid system or some other nonlinear product can be a liberating experience. The days of using a nodding reporter to cover a jump cut are gone. A dissolve will do the same thing and lets the viewing public know an edit has been made, preserving the integrity of the process. The ability to return to any part of the story and make corrections, sweeten the audio mix, and most importantly, add natural sound, almost as an after thought, has breathed new life into the process. In the future, we'll discuss how the nonlinear newsroom has changed our craft and we'll talk about methods to help us adapt to those changes.