PRIME 7’s local news team cannot get any more local, with home grown Pete Gleeson behind the camera and fellow local Samantha Crowe delivering the news to our community …
Pete, after a long career in the newspaper industry behind the camera, you made the transition to television – how have you settled in?
It’s been great. I needed a new challenge after being at the paper for so long and the timing was right, that’s for sure. I’m stoked I got the opportunity to continue to shoot local news as it happens.
What has been the biggest adjustment for you?
A heavier camera and sticks (laughs), probably sound and adjusting to get everything moving now, rather than just stills. Getting enough vision to fill a minute and a half story can be interesting at times too.
What have you enjoyed most about covering local news for TV?
I’m a born and bred local, so I love this place and its people. I think local news is important to the community, and it’s great being able to tell the story better through vision.
Sam, where did your career as a news journalist begin?
My grandfather (Pardi) knew a couple of the local sports reporters/journalists when I was growing up, and I wanted to be just like the people he watched on TV.
While at university in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, I worked with radio stations Sea FM and Hot Tomato; there I covered the 2011 Brisbane floods, before moving north at the same time as Cyclone Yasi and the Central Queensland floods.
I moved back south to work for 4BC in Brisbane, covering national politics, before I took time off to have my son.
It was after that I joined the PRIME7 team and eventually made it back here to grab my dream job in my own home town of Port Macquarie.
What is a typical day like for you and Pete?
Every day is different, and we start every day with no real idea what could come our way at any minute. Lately we’ve see a lot of bush fires, drownings and car accidents.
Typically though, we start by looking for stories in the morning. Once we have pin pointed the news of the day, we’ll arrange interviews and vision and head out to shoot it. At any time that plan could change, and we could be chasing fires, floods or a range of tragedies or accidents.
In the afternoons, I’ll write a script based on what Pete and I have discussed for the story and what vision he has collected. I record my voice, and then Pete works his magic on the edit. After that we send it to the news room, and quite often rush out to a live cross to finish the day.
The job comes with highs and lows when covering the news. How do you balance it out?
It’s true we see a lot of tragedy, but it’s the heroes involved in those tragedies who make them bearable and often inspirational. Even something as a tragic as a death on our roads or a drowning on our beaches highlights the strength in our community and the amazing people who volunteer or work as part of our emergency services agencies.
I am constantly inspired by the people in our community and the way they face challenges and overcome tragedy.
Plus, for every tragic story we cover we get to cover 10 feel-good ones. I think I’ve held nearly every baby born at the Billabong in the last four years. I’d do this job just to play with the animals ha ha!
Sam, what makes a good news story?
Don’t tell Pete I said this … but it’s definitely the vision.
A picture really does paint a thousand words, and moving pictures allow us to send the story as it’s happened into people’s living rooms. The key is to get the tip early and get there to capture the action.
When considering story ideas, I generally ask two questions..
1. Do I care?
2. Why do I care?
After those two questions, I know if I’ve got a story and we’ve got an idea of our angle.