I broke my own rule.
I do that sometimes.
I was at a school board meeting - very routine - without a camera. I know what you're thinking, "You don't need a camera at a meeting."
Well, generally, you're right. I'm going to have to refer to Perry White in "Superman III" when Jimmy Olsen misses the shots of Superman saving the day because he was getting a hot dog and didn't have his camera.
"A photographer eats with his camera. A photographer sleeps with his camera," the editor drones on.
"Glad I'm a writer," Lois Lane mutters.
Back to my point, you never know what's going to happen. I decided this about four years ago while covering a school board meeting in another district for another newspaper. It was a routine meeting that included a report from the middle school administrators. They were talking about this problem-solving activity day. To better demonstrate some of the activities the students would be doing, they had a couple board members volunteer. So we went from paying the bills to several board members on their knees building a balloon tower. And no photos from me - no camera.
Since then it's been my philosophy that reporters should take cameras with them everywhere - even if it's a routine meeting. You never know what's going to happen. Like at the last school board meeting when the junior high cheerleaders demonstrated their routines and showed off their trophies. It would have got a few more faces in the paper and demonstrated that we do cover more than just meeting motions.
Melody Kramer on community journalism
6 months ago