Ron Oliveira, The changing world of broadcast news
Dressed in a sleek black suit, Ron Oliveira made his way into Mass Communication week. Oliveira came to speak about the exciting and scary changes happening in the broadcast industry.
Oliveira, a member of the KEYE news team in Austin, spoke to a room of 40 students Tuesday, to explain the dedication needed in the broadcast world.
Oliveira shared with the group that when he first started in the broadcast business he worked 60 to 70 hours a week and was only able to eat one meal a day. When he was hired at a TV station as a reporter, he didn’t know how to type, and when he was asked to be an anchor he was concerned because he didn’t even own a suit.
“I was fascinated with every aspect of television,” he said. “I started out making $3.50 an hour, but I knew this was going to be my life.”
Oliveira considers his early days in broadcast television the golden age of TV. The stations wanted more news so they invested in people and equipment. They would send reporters and photographers to events and set them up in nice hotels. Today, stations see no reason to send reporters away on expensive assignments, and they want reporters and anchors to do the same amount of work as before but with less staff.
“We are sad in the business now because of what’s happening,” he said. “I’m excited about all the new technology, but I’m also scared of it as well.”
Oliveira has noticed a shift being made in all aspects of journalism. Broadcast news is becoming a tough business in which to survive. Seasoned reporters are being let go and it is becoming harder for students to get their foot in the door.
“Don’t feel entitled,” he said. “Now is the time to make yourself stand out because there are thousands of other people applying for that same job you are.”
Oliveira explained that many people are coming into the newsroom clueless. He believes internships are vital for preparing yourself for what a newsroom is really like.
“Internships are a great way for you to learn and show your face,”he said. “A person can’t get from a tape a feeling as to who you are as well as if you come in and speak to them in person.”
Oliveira does believe there are still plenty of ways for students to grow in this business.
“Writers are very important,” he said, “as well as positions in public relations, and advertising. Video and communications directors are also in great demand.”