Freelancer reporter Graham Johnson's travails with Zig Zag productions in London, trying to provide shock tv for hardmen without deep pockets, seems to be a lesson in schlock tv reporting for (hardly) men. Here's an excerpt from "Strong-arm tactics", Johnson's Guardian piece about the visual media's darkside:
The first thing you learn about TV folk is that they've got no stories. I'm generalising here. When I say TV folk, I mean some TV documentary makers, as opposed to the (slightly) more honourable breed of TV news reporters and execs.
The second thing you learn is that they haven't got any money to pay for stories. This brings me on to the third thing you learn about TV people - if they can't afford to buy stories, then they will try to take them from you... Many down-trodden print journalists look at TV as being the promised land, which will one day make them famous, give them the credit they deserve and free them from the pressure of tough news execs.
Memo to careworn, overworked print journalists: the magic of TV. It's all a blag. It's an illusion. Stay where you are.
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