Social media and journalism

I’ve been meaning to write more on this blog, but I keep getting caught up in too much work stuff. I recently got to do a bit of writing for others though. I am passionate about making the case for just how important social media, Twitter in particular, is for journalism. I am keen to make the point that journalists need to approach Twitter just like any other medium they may report in. Our core function; be accurate. Here are a couple of interviews I did recently talking about that:



TV Writing

Throughout this class I have tried to beef up my writing. The time came this week to show the folks at work I have improved. Have I? You be the judge, here is a TV “package” from my show ‘207’ featuring the best breakfasts in Maine:


Bio Sketch Abridged

Brett Whitmarsh was born in Upstate New York. Following a passion for television, he attended the Emmy-award winning communications program, Lyndon State College in Vermont. Brett’s professional TV career began at Capital News 9 in Albany, New York. In 2003, he moved to WCSH6, in Portland Maine. At the NBC station, he produces the news magazine shows “207” and “Bill Green’s Maine.” Brett’s role keeps him involved in all aspects of television from producing, reporting, plus shooting and editing video. When not in a TV studio, Brett can be found relaxing with his dog on many of Maine’s beaches.


Little Ol’ Me

I grew up in Cortland, New York. It’s, a small town, sandwiched between Ithaca and Syracuse, New York. My earliest memories are of watching TV. I love watching, as much TV as my parents would allow me. My parents didn’t use the TV as a babysitter. I was watching these many hours with family. I didn’t just watch the classic 80’s TV shows that were on at the time, no sir. I was a TV geek even then. I watched tons of “I Love Lucy,” “I Dream of Jeanie,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “Get Smart,” the list goes on. Syndication was king back in the 80’s, so shows like these were everywhere. Then “Nick at Nite” was born, and I had a regular schedule of shows to look forward to.

When I wasn’t watching TV, I was out playing TV. My friends and I would re-enacting TV shows, flexing the power of our imaginations. While acting out an action sequence from Superman, I underestimated the power of my jungle gym. Falling off it and discovering what it felt like to have the wind knocked out of me.

When my parents got divorced I moved to Maine, back to NY, then to NH. In New Hampshire, I graduated from high school and followed my chemistry partner off to a tiny, yet crucial, college in Vermont.

At Lyndon State College, I was able to harness my TV knowledge and take the leap from imaginative audience member to active producer. Since graduating, I went to Albany, New York. A station called Capital News 9 was just starting out. CN9 was a local 24-hour news network. During the job interview, they mentioned they were owned by Time Warner so all of my cable channels would be free, and I would get the full package. Free TV, with every channel I could have ever wanted, my 10- year old self would be so jealous.

At this job I was a news photojournalist, or Photog. I shot video, edited, and ran live trucks. After being there a month, they sent me to New York City to help out our sister station NY1. I was going to run my very first live shot, in Time Square, where I failed miserably. I was unaware that there was an electrical malfunction in the truck, so the shot never happened. It was an important day too, the one year anniversary of 9-11. Working in NYC for that week was an eye opening experience, one I hope to never forget.

A year in Albany was enough for me. It was time to head back home to New England. My chemistry partner, who became my girlfriend in the four years of college, got a job at WMUR in New Hampshire.

TV jobs in New England are very hard to get into. There are very few, people stay at their jobs a long time, and stations have high standards. I landed at the NBC station in Portland, Maine, where I have stayed for the last seven years. I have been the producer of a show called “207.”

We call it “207” because Maine only has one area code, a rare thing these days. We have a team of six people who work on the show, sometimes it doesn’t seem like enough. The job is different every day. I can go from a doggie makeover, to chatting with Tippi Hedren about Alfred Hitchcock. Everyone comes to Maine. So we get an amazing array of celebrities and newsmakers. I have met an incredible list of people. I have the chance to do what I want with the show. Some days I am a photographer, other days I am a reporter or producer for the show. While this show is on the air, the world is my oyster.