I’ve gotten this question over and over by different journalists all around the globe.
How do I make my editor understand I want and NEED more time to cover deeper subjects?
Whether you are a writer, photojournalist or videographer, I am certain, you’ve had conflicts with your editor when trying to pursue a bigger story or at least one that takes a longer time to produce. The problem is time. You need time to tell the perfect story but there’s a huge lack of time in newsrooms.
What do you do?
Meet half way. Work on daily projects or smaller projects and fulfill your goal of daily (or semi-daily) content production. The projects might not sound that exciting for you, but take it as practice and the opportunity to better perfect content creation. You will shoot better and more efficiently. By the time you get to the editing station, you’ll knock the project out in short time having shot with the final product in mind. As a consequence, you’ll please your editor with a great product and he or she will be more inclined to trust your instincts when you say you need more time to work on long term projects.
Doing this, will give you time to work on those long term projects on which you firmly believe are worth telling, not to mention, you’ll be better prepared to cover those important, more profound stories.
Produced by a team of UNC students during the Powering a Nation 2010 project. Thanks to the generosity of the Carnegie and Knight Foundations, and the determination of the journalists, the reporters on this project were able to spend more than 10 weeks shooting and editing this project regarding the oil spill.
Just remember, there’s always a space for both long term projects and short and sweet pieces. Just try to innovate when doing them, you’ll have a new set of tools you can use on them repeatedly.