They don’t think that they need a news researcher
‘When I first started working as a researcher – they didn’t think they needed one here either, but after getting fast accurate information, they changed their minds’–Theresa Collington Moore,news researcher of WTSP 10 TV,St.Petersburg,Florida.
But even now local TV stations in Calcutta don’t think that they need a newsroom researcher.But when regional news channels are competing each other,they should have create their own identity.A news researcher who is associated with a local TV station, helps reporters to develop their stories ,search stories-news items for producers.He or she s should maintain his or her own data bank,story bank.The concept of news researcher has changed in recent years because local TV stations now a days concentrate on hyper local news.
News Researchers don’t consider themselves as a knowledgeable person but they only know how to provide quick authentic information.They only use subscription based online archival materials.As a researcher for local TV station,you can not expect to get ready made information from net.I stop goggling years ago.When a major story breaks out you don’t have the time to search google or other search engines.You should maintain your own archives.I always carry my pen drives where I preserve my datas.
In case of breaking news,a good news researcher can help reporters or news desk at the initial stage(AVO).For example,when a major accident occurs,a capable news researcher of a local TV station collects necessary informations or phone numbers and passes it to reporters or news desk.
T.C. Moore,the news researcher of CBS affiliated TV station whom I consider my mentor.From my early days of journalism,I learnt a lot about news research from her works.She is my Guru Dronacharya,I follow her like Eklavya(In the Hindu epic Mahabharata,Eklavya was a young boy belonged to low caste,who wanted to learn archery from great Guru Dronacharya.But after rejected by Dronacharya,he erected a clay idol of his guru and started practising infront the idol.Soon he achieved a great skill in archery and Dronacharya came to know that and met the boy and demanded that he should gave him his right thumb as guru dakshina(teacher’s fee).Without much hesitation,Eklavya cut off his right thumb and gave it to his guru by jeopardising his carrier.) minus the painful one.I try to follow her style with my own interpretation.According to her,news researchers of local TV stations should have the ability to provide background checks of anything including background checks for the reporters in the field.They work side by side with the reporters but unlike reporters they work behind curtains.They don’t get enough credit for their work.But,as information junkies they enjoy every bit of it.They check and recheck every information and follow the journalism mantra,when your mother says she loves you check it out.News researchers believe that facts are more important than adjectives.They don’t have any ego to share their information with reporters but reporters should shade their ego first.News researchers always want to help reporters for fact based stories.Modern news researcher(I called myself as a digital news researcher because I prefer to work online)not only provide archival material(flashbacks)but also help reporters to develop their stories so that their stories have enough twists and turns.They also have the ability to provide back up material for any story like when the Police burst a major inter-state car theft gang,a news researcher comes up with a back up story-new technologies to prevent car theft.But,l think that backup stories should be interesting and compact in nature,hardly 50-60 seconds(duration)
Always remember,when reporters are always chasing the news,they get little time to concentrate on the finar points of the story.News researchers do that on their behalf.Therefore it is not only necessary but essential to have a news researcher.It saves time.