Learn to Troubleshoot

utilities-1238686By: Mandy Mitchell

Let’s talk about problems we all see throughout our days…

Gear breaks.

We can’t find a phone number we need.

We didn’t ask that guy we interviewed for his name and spelling.

A reporter was supposed to leave a script for you and you can’t find it.

I could continue, but you get it. You will see problems on a daily basis. What I have become amazed by…let’s just say it ANNOYED WITH…is the number of people who can not simply solve the problem. Instead, the person starts panicking, starts blaming someone else and starts wasting the precious time that could be used to solve the problem before the inventible deadline.

The best in this business are often the best at troubleshooting. Often times you just have to take the few seconds to think when a problem comes up.

Cameras rarely just die. If it won’t turn on, take the time change the battery and to jiggle the battery. Is something loose? Can you fix it? Is there another way to shoot this story if it is in fact broken? Panicking and calling the assignment desk is not a good option. Can you shoot on your cell phone? A GoPro? Is there another photog/mmj within a few minutes you can call to  bail you out?

This is the process of thought you should be going through. Be the person who wants to solve the problem. Don’t be the person who wants to b*tch about the “terrible gear.”

If you don’t know the name of the person you interviewed is there a way to find out without crying into your coffee? Does anyone else you interviewed say his/her name? Can you call the person’s company? Just think. Try to solve it.

This goes for all things in the newsroom from not being able to find a script, to the teleprompter breaking 3 minutes before air, to the editor crashing, to the printer jamming.

WHAT can I do to fix it?

Learning to troubleshoot will make you better at your job. It will also make you more likable in the newsroom.

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