Amy Bowers TV Talk 
"When I Am Queen"

When I am Queen, TV news will be much better, and more fun. 

Nobody will do a story because Somebody is making an Announcement somewhere, and we donít have anything else in the file. 

We will tell the truth. We will use both sides of our brains, and our stories will carry emotional depth and informational content. 

If youíre curious about a place you havenít been, I will encourage you to go there, and report on it, when I am Queen.  

If your conscience is shocked by something, you may tell it. 

If you have a story idea, but canít support it with an article from the paper, I will admire your originality. I will not insist on seeing your idea in the Washington Post before I put it on the air. 

We will cover it, even if it isnít about middle-class white people. 

I will not allow you to put your name on hand-outs that you cannot verify or confirm.  

I will continue to outlaw the vertical frame, the jump cut, and the stacking of medium shots.  

I may even start watching television again, when I am Queen. 


A reporter whose market is beyond my sovereignty wrote the following to Shoptalk, a widely read newsletter for TV news personnel. His reference to the NPPA is the National Press Photographer's Association. 

>From: Rusty Surette 
>KETK NBC- Tyler, TX 
>RE:  Flash-Fast Pace Photography 
>Dear Shoptalk Readers: 
>I'm a big fan of KPRC "News 2 Houston" because of their photography  
>techniques. So, I was wondering....what other stations do the 
>Flash/Fast Pace/MTV Style shooting? In other words: ANTI - NPPA. 
>Email me at if anybody knows of any other stations 
>that dare to be different. THANKS!!!! 

As the future Queen, it was my duty to reply: 

>From:  Amy Bowers 
>freelance field producer 
>and former NPPA-style network news shooter 
>RE: anti-NPPA 
>To Rusty Surette, 
>I don't think that NPPA style shooting has to do with the pace of the 
>finished news story. NPPA shooters are conscious of camera movement. 
>If you don't want a building to wiggle, or you want a rock-steady 
>interview, you use a tripod. This does not mean that all camera 
>movement and quick cutting is "anti-NPPA." It just means that 
>UNINTENTIONAL or THOUGHTLESS camera movement is "anti-NPPA." 
>Same with editing. The NPPA-trained photog shoots sequences.  When you 
>cut away from the interview to the supporting b-roll footage, you can 
>choose wides, tights, close-ups, or reverses to build your description 
>of the subject. You are not stuck flashing to one cut-away, and 
>flashing back to interview, due to a lack of variety in the shots. But 
>even MTV style works best when the images tell a story. 
>If you like a camera that tilts and moves, you can certainly do that 
>with intention. Same with dramatic camera angles and composition. 
>I haven't seen News2 Houston, so it may be that they are using shots 
>that are unintentionally out of focus, poorly lit, under/over exposed, 
>or shaking for no real reason. Maybe they are using footage taken with 
>no natural sound. If that is the case, they are anti-NPPA. 
>NPPA-style means clean, creative and descriptive.  As far as I know 
>it's the best way to tell a TV story. I believe it includes a range of 
>style from "classic documentary" to "TV magazine" to "gonzo." 
>Rusty, when you "dare to be different" in your work, do you commit to 
>photographing your vision?  Or are you getting negative feedback 
>because you don't know what "screen direction" is, and you refuse to 
>learn the basics? 

Amy Bowers
Contents PageColumns Page
Contents Page Editorials The Platypus Links Copyright
Portfolios Camera Corner War Stories  Dirck's Gallery Comments
Issue Archives Columns Forums Mailing List E-mail Us
 This site is sponsored and powered by Hewlett Packard