Doug's Blog: Teach an old dog new tricks

By Doug Walker - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - So my first week as a full time street reporter is over. It was a whirlwind of activity after years of sitting behind a desk.  I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment after the first week, but a sense of foreboding as well.  Here's why.

The storytelling part was not hard for me.  It's like riding a bike.  Once you learn, you never really forget.  You may have to shake off some rust, but the mechanics are still there.  In the first week, I reported on Pascagoula downtown revitalization, seniors concerned about no raises in social security payments, welcome banners in Gautier being used for advertising, smokers fuming over the high cost of smokes, and the fact that President Obama bypassed Mississippi on his visit to the gulf coast.  I thought the gulf coast meant us, but that's another story.  There were smaller stories as well, like pumpkin patches, and a small school bus used to teach little kids school bus safety.  All in all, a pretty good week.

Here's the other side of the coin.  Getting a story to the air is a lot different than when I first started reporting.  I used to edit tape ( yes, tape) with a razor blade and splicing tape.  Things have changed.  Now it's all digital, all the time.  No tape.  Just cards and computers. The first time I sat down at the computer, I felt lost and bewildered.  But I worked most of the week with one of our photographers, Rodney Billingsley.  He must have the patience of Job. He tutored me through the steps each day, a little bit more every hour.  By the end of the week, I actually edited a story with Rodney standing by, telling me No, Not that, Not that, No....No.....No. I learned early on that the UN-DO icon on the computer was my best friend.  I think I wore out the key this week.

But it's going to get better.  I think by the year...oh...let's say 2014 (when State and Southern play), I should have this editing thing down.  If not, I may have to UN-DO this career choice.  Wish me luck.

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