"Wild eyed," is not a term normally used to describe NBC 5 reporter Phil Rogers however wild eyed is exactly how he looked Sunday night as he reported live on the air about the NATO protests.
Deservedly so, Rogers and cameraman Bill Jennings spent the day following the protesters around the city, at one point he and his crew were jammed in-between the police human barricade and the protesters as they tried to shove their way past the police.
During his report, you can see the crowd attempting to shove their way past the police as Rogers tries to report on what's happening stuck smack dab in the middle of the entire thing.
Besides the unbelievable footage, what makes this report memorable is that at no time does Rogers lose his cool or become overly emotional during the entire skirmish.
It would have been very easy to try and play the "do you know who I am card" with the police and try and report from the back side of the barricade. Or he could have started to fight back with the protesters as they shoved and pushed their way forward, both are viable options considering the circumstances.
That's where years of experience and training comes into play, Rogers did his best to protect his crew (rule #1) and report what was happening, while it was happening.
At a time where it seems that every fresh faced reporter is getting snapped up by networks and whisked off to New York for a big salary and cool wardrobe, what Rogers did is a lesson in live reporting. His report is what pros. do, no teleprompter, no make up lady or producer feeding him lines, just guts, smarts and the instincts to keep calm and keep going.
When he went live at 10 Rogers looked "wild eyed" but still managed to relay the story in a calm, professional manner that told both sides of the story and never became about how hard or scary it was for Rogers and Jennings.
Rogers is a shining example of a great Chicago journalist. Someone buy that man a beer, give him a day off or nominate him for an Emmy!
Now the flip side of Rogers excellent work came up later in the same newscast. Lisa Parker (who also did a great job) reported on a group of live streaming video bloggers who had come to Chicago to stream their experience live to the rest of the world, as they dove into the circus of the weekend.
The video bloggers were detained by the police after their car matched the description of a car that the police were looking for, related to a crime.
The live streamers captured footage of the police cuffing them, yelling instructions and trying to control the situation. You can see them in the footage with their camera phones giving play by play as they were being detained.
The difference between Rogers and the live stream bloggers, beside an ocean of experience, is that Rogers is a journalist, the live stream bloggers are boys playing journalist. The better way to describe them, might be opportunists, looking to gain exposure for their web site and blog.
If you are live streaming your journey into something that you truly have no part in, you are looking for something juicy to give your viewers, otherwise, it's a bunch of boys in a car. Being detained by the police is a live streamers wet dream, juicy, loud, meaty, conflict filled content.
In the world of journalism, heck in the world. If you are someplace you aren't' supposed to be and the guys with the guns say "stop," you stop. It's not like on Law and Order where the police will chat it up with you, they are dealing with life and death, in the moment decisions. Sunday the police were on high alert, literally surrounded by thousands of potential threats, what the live streamers did was careless, dangerous and unprofessional, putting themselves at risk for page views and Google ad dollars.
Normally I would hyper link the web site for the live streamers, but stupidity, doesn't deserve a pat on the back. Instead, check out what a real journalist looks like and sounds like in the clip of Rogers below.
View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.