The hard part of covering presidential campaigns as a TV news correspondent isn’t getting information; it’s the logistical challenge of sending your report back to the broadcast center. During the first campaign of President George W. Bush, I found myself sitting in the back row of a plane while editing a report that was supposed to be fed out of a satellite truck when we landed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. But we didn’t have time to finish editing and ran from the airplane to the satellite truck to complete our report.
Unfortunately, the Bush campaign was in a hurry to leave and move on to a stop in sunny California. The 45 minutes we had planned for in the satellite truck turned into less than 30. We edited up until the moment the campaign’s press escort came to the truck and told us to get in the van and onto the plane or they were leaving without our crew. We had one last edit but he would not wait. We took our tape out of the machines and jumped in the van and headed to the commercial charter jet.
A reporter revolt erupted. As we boarded and the doors closed I explained in a loud voice that we were paying for the press charter and we ought to be able to determine some flexibility in its schedule. The Bush campaign, of course, wanted the media to leave ahead of the candidate’s plane so that we were on the ground to report on his arrival at the next stop. In this case, this approach was making it impossible for us to complete our reporting and get it on the air. Alexandra Pelosi, who later produced the popular HBO film Journeys with George, jumped to my defense and agreed that we ought to control the plane’s schedule. Eventually, numerous other journalists joined the chorus. The pilot called the tower and a vehicle came out and pulled up next to the pilot’s window. We had given our tapes to the pilot with instructions on the last three edits to be made and he dropped it out the window to the driver, who took it to the satellite truck where editing was completed and the story was sent via satellite. We took off for Long Beach where it was not four degrees below zero.
Much of that frustration could have been avoided if we had latakoo.
latakoo enables a reporter or video crew to click once and deliver HD video wirelessly in a matter of minutes without perceptible loss of quality. I could have gotten my report back to the broadcast center without ever leaving the airplane and my employer would not have been required to rent an expensive satellite truck or transponder time to take in the video feed, which means there is more money to cover the news and help the public better understand the people who want to be president.
And latakoo is already doing that.
When Texas Governor Rick Perry launched his presidential bid, television stations in Austin traveled with him to South Carolina and Iowa for his announcement tour. Traditionally, they would have made that editorial decision based upon logistics, editorial importance, and costs. Because they were not required to rent satellite trucks and transponders, the Austin stations, which normally would have been financially pressed to cover a campaign event, were able to make a sound decision that served their community and their company’s shareholders. And we’re proud to say the video reports delivered through latakoo looked better than what was coming into broadcast centers around the country via satellite.
latakoo makes video simple. Along with reporting from presidential campaigns. Get the latakoo campaign 2012 free trial here.
–James Moore, latakoo Team Member, best-selling author, MSNBC contributor
–Video by Steve Kline