Preston Mitchum is a photographer forABC 2 news in Baltimore. I met Preston when I was interning there two years ago. Preston always had great insight into the business so I thought it would be nice to get some input from him about the media and the changes.
Have you had to move around a lot to be able to find a job in journalism?
I was very lucky to land a great job with ABC 2 while still in school. I was hired three month prior to graduating as a part-time editor and now I’m in my twelfth year at channel two.
How long have you been in the media business?
twelve years now.
Where did you go to school?
I went to Towson State University, class of 97.
Where did you get your start in photography and where do you currently work?
I received tons of experience working at the Towson State University television station. The ability to use updated equipment was very helpful in my transition to the professional world. I’m currently a photojournalist/microwave live truck operator at channel two.
How long have you worked at your current job?
Do you think there have been more positive changes in the media world or negative changes? Please Explain.
First, the bad economy that we are in has not help the media industry. Because of it more and more companies are cutting back on staff. The goal now is to do more with less. We also need to develop an extensive training system to get everyone up to speed on all new technology systems. You will find lots of people losing jobs in the newspaper and TV industry during the next few years. Which in turn will leave more and more people out of work and un-trained for the new media world ahead.
Have you been directly affected by the changes in the media world and if so how?
Yes, the changes I talked about early in the business has required me to learn more. It will require all of us to stay updated on the basic Internet/web technology as well and digital cameras and equipment.
Has it been difficult to adapt all of the time to the changing world of journalism?
Not really, adapting is apart of the human nature.
Do you think the Internet allows journalists to stay closer to their hometown or it really has had no effect?
It really matters on what company you are working for at the time. If your company is looking for someone to provide online journalism then the Internet is perfect. We have to remember that you will still need individuals to go out and gather news…. interview people etc…
Do you think technology is making it easier for journalists or harder to do their job?
For me if have made things easier. It’s not so much the technology….it really matters if the company you work for, community and people you want to reach are on the same page with the technology you are using. If folks don’t have computers then you need to make sure you have other ways to provide the news… TV, Radio….
With being a photographer do you believe that the advances in technology are helping or hurting your job security?
The advances in technology are hurting my job security. Companies are trying to do more with less… requiring us to learn multiple jobs. One person can do it all…. shoot, write, edit and upload the story. We have to remember not everyone can multi task so only the strong will survive.
What advice do you give future journalists or photographers?
You must be able to multi-task…. learn how to shoot, edit, write very well. Also be very Internet savvy! The more you can do the more marketable you will be for employers.
What goals do you have for yourself and your career?
Through all of the changes being able to be creative is very important to me. I would love to do more storytelling and long format productions.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I think we covered it all!