Television news-gathering still a team effort


Although the use of the “one-man-band” concept is on the rise by broadcast television station news departments, the RTDNA says that reports that the practice is becoming a staple are “more talk than action.”
A survey on the use of one-man-bands came from RTDNA and Hofstra University under Hoftstra professor Bob Papper.

31.7% of surveyed stations say they primarily send out one-man-bands, up from 22.3% three years ago. Those using it some of the time are now at 29%, up from 26.9%. 21% said it gets occasional use, down from 22.3% and 18.3% do not use it at all, down from 28.6%.

Although the survey indicates that the trend is moving in the direction of one-man-bands, Papper commented, “It appears that with one-man-band usage, a lot of stations are more talk than action, according to the numbers.”

The study confirmed what one might suspect – that the practice is more prevalent in small markets and small newsrooms. Among stations with 51 or more employees, only 8.5% make strong use of the practice.

Three years ago, 27.7% of stations said they expected to use the practice, a number that increased to 43.1% this time around. But RTDNA cautions that it has produced similar expected use results in other surveys, only to discover that in practice such expectations did not pan out.