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      Matt's Memo: Coverage of First Baptist Church collapse in Memphis, Van Buren under weight of snow

      First Baptist Church in Memphis/Van Buren.

      How would you like a job where your assignment changes three times in twenty minutes? Welcome to the world of journalism. Our reporter/photographer Alex Dunbar rode a rollercoaster of news stories tonight peaking less than an hour before news time when he changed stories from Egypt to Syracuse Fire to Collapsed Church all between 9:10 pm and 9:30 pm.

      Alex is a former photographer who has smoothly made the transition into a reporter who also shoots and edits his own video and sound. The irony or this day was it started out slowly. Our editorial staff worked to find the right story for him. He went to the Syracuse School Board meeting as a photographer with Lisa Spitz. He made a second stop back there again gathering more for the late newscasts.

      Then Alex drove up to Syracuse University's Newhouse school. Our nightside producer Kristy Smorol had set him up with two broadcast journalism students to talk to them about their career choice in the wake of the beating and sexual assault of CBS News correspondent Lara Logan during the demonstrations in Egypt.

      Alex returned to the station. Wrote the story. Recorded his voice track just in time to go cover a house fire in Syracuse. No sooner did he leave for the house fire we learned a roof collapsed at the First Baptist Church in Memphis. We shuffled the deck again. Kristy dispatched editor/photographer Andrew Perdue to the scene in the live truck. I called Alex and told him he was moving to his third story in twenty minutes.

      The two of them hustled to shoot video, do interviews, get a live signal, feed tape and broadcast live for our 10:00 and 11:00 newscasts. Kristy was reworking rundowns and coordinating coverage. The story was incredible. 40 people had been inside the church for their weekly prayer meeting when they noticed cracks in the ceiling were getting worse. They evacuated the building jst in time so they had to shield themselves behind their cars to avoid the falling debris.

      We checked back into the scene several times during our 10:00 and 11:00 newscasts. It was just another day in the news business. Definitely not a 9 to 5 desk job type of career.

      Any questions or comment please forward them to mattsmemo@CNYcentral.com . I may even use some of your thoughts on NBC 3 News at 5:00, the 10:00 News on CW6 or on CNYcentral.com.

      The opinions expressed in this blog are the sole responsibility of the author and are not reflective of the views or opinions of Barrington Broadcasting, WSTM-NBC3, its management or employees.

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