On the Frontline: Elise Haas
Elise Haas, Morning News Reporter
KOIN 6 News in Portland, Oregon
BA Broadcast Journalism, Political Science, 2016
What a strange time to be alive -- and even stranger time to be a journalist. Especially a broadcast journalist.
In television, our job hinges upon being "on scene," surrounded by people, and telling their stories. Now we're rapidly adapting to make sure we do our job, while being socially and physically responsible to keep our community and ourselves safe.
As the information and spread this virus became more serious, we went from being a bustling, busy newsroom -- to anxious ants trying to awkwardly stay 6 feet away from one another. Not to mention, severely drying out our hands with hand sanitizer.
Within 48 hours, we responded and converted our operations to nearly all working remote. I haven't stepped foot in my newsroom in over a month -- and I only see one co-worker (my photographer) a day. We communicate by phone, email and chatrooms -- almost effortlessly. It's kind of amazing.
I previously worked as a multimedia journalist at my first TV gig, so I'm experienced at shooting, writing and editing my own work. Even though I no longer do that in my current reporter role, these skills have proven to be priceless (so be sure to hone your inner one-man-band).
Often, my photographer and I have to divide and conquer while working remotely. Regardless, we're still producing quality journalism under hard, and technically challenging deadlines. We typically we have 3.5 hours or less to turn a package because we spend our first half of our day doing 3 hours of live news.
As a news team, we've been walking Oregonians through the COVID-19 closures, helping them get information about small business loans, repeatedly pushing for answers about why our viewers can't get through to the employment departments for unemployment insurance and everything in between.
Overall, we're doing what we do best: being good listeners, informing our community with important stories, and helping save lives by encouraging social distancing to slow the spread. This is why (real) journalism matters.
School of Communication alumni: If you have personal reflections about your jobs and lives during the COVID-19 outbreak, please follow the format above and send your story, a photo of you in action, and video clips, to Associate Dean John Slania at firstname.lastname@example.org