Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Day in the Life

Of Adam Pellerin

During my summer internship at Fox 25 WFXT, I was lucky enough to have the chance to shadow one of their best assignment reporters for the day, Adam Pellerin. The assignment reporters have a more difficult job then most of the anchors because it is their duty to chase the stories. Adam has been with FOX 25 since he was 19, when he began his career as an intern on the assignment desk. His mother worked for the traffic department at the station, so he was fortunate to have a great deal of guidance on his path to success. Adam enjoyed working the on the desk as an intern, but when he took it up as a full-time job, he soon got the itch to pursue something where there was a little more action, and a little more risk involved. He decided to take a chance and see how he fared at work in front of the camera, rather than behind the scenes. He knew that this was the right fit for him, and he has been working as one of FOX 25’s most trusted assignment reporters ever since. I learned a lot from Adam during my time spent with him. He is extremely professional and has a wealth of knowledge about this field. He gave me great advice for my own future in this business, and I hope that I am lucky enough to have the chance to work with him again before the summer’s end.

When Adam first arrived at the station (sometimes referred to as “the nest”), he headed straight for the assignment desk to find out where the day would bring him. It is my boss’s job (Scott) to designate which reporter will cover which story, and he tries to do so according to each reporter’s specific talents and interests. Adam is very easy to work with, because he has no preference in regards to which story he will cover—he just likes being near the action! Unfortunately, there was not much going on in the world of news that day, but Scott still gave us something to work with (go figure, they catch Whitey the very next day!).

In the Seaport District, there had been a turf war of sorts going on between Boston Police, State Police, and Massport Police. The rules in regards to the jurisdiction of the area had been very fuzzy, and FOX 25 decided that it would make a good piece for the nightly broadcast. Adam thought that rather than just talking about it and having some live shots of the Seaport District, it would make for a more quality piece if we had somebody who we could talk to about it. So, he pulled some strings, and within ten minutes had a time set up for us to speak with Boston Police Commissioner, Ed Davis. I was amazed at how quick Adam was able to orchestrate this interview, but it goes to show how good he is at what he does. However, there was a catch to getting this interview. Ed Davis was going to be in the South End of Boston at a “Ground-breaking” ceremony. The event was small and not too heavily publicized, but it was where he was going to be so we had to act on it. I learned that even though FOX 25 was not too interested in the ceremony itself, we had to act as though we were in order to get a chance to speak with Ed Davis. By bringing our camera crew and a reporter to this event, it gave us the access we needed to land our interview. I asked if trade-offs like this happened often, and Adam assured me they occur quite frequently. This taught me a bit about the politics of the news world, and how much it pays off to build your own personal network of contacts. Adam told me that over the years he had built up a large network of people in the political and social world in the Boston area, and that knowing these people has helped him further his own career in many ways. I hope that as I continue my journey in the news world, I too can develop the connections that I need to succeed.

As the day continued, I tried to observe as much of Adam’s behavior as possible. He was always very poised and he was extremely prepared for the interview with Ed Davis. On the way to the South End, I asked Adam a few questions in regards to his career as an assignment reporter:

Q: What do you do to prepare for the story you are covering that day?

A: “Generally I have no idea what I am going to be covering on any given day, it could be anything. I try to stay really connected to current events so that when I come into work, I have a good idea of what the big stories of the day are and I’m not thrown off by anything. If I have an interview with a specific person set up for that day, I’ll do research on them when I first get to the assignment desk so it stays fresh in my mind when I leave. I also bring print outs of the story with me to review on the ride there.”

Q: Throughout your career as an assignment reporter, what stories have stuck out for you the most? What has been the most memorable for you?

A: “I am a HUGE sports fan. When I was in college, I played baseball for Suffolk University, and shortly after that I even took a stab at playing baseball professionally, so needless to say any Boston sports story in the last few years has grabbed my attention. The Red Sox in 04’ and 07’, The Pats, The Celts, now the Bruins. I love it! Also, when Robert Kennedy passed away, I witnessed the motorcade passing of all the past presidents who are still alive—talk about a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Q: What made you decide to switch from working at the assignment desk to becoming an assignment reporter?

A: “Well, I had started here at FOX 25 as an intern on the desk, and at the time, it was what I thought I wanted to do in the long run. Once they offered me the position full-time after I graduated from Suffolk, I was already feeling like I should be doing something else. Still, I took it and decided to give it one more chance. After about a year, I had talked to some people about becoming an assignment reporter because I felt it would be a better fit for my personality. I liked going where the action was, where the story was, and being right there to get it all on film. I am really happy with the direction I went it, but it definitely took some time to figure out.”

When FOX 25 first got a hold of this story, it had been from an article published in

The Boston Herald by Michelle McPhee. Here is the link to the actual story in case

you would like to read it:

http://bostonherald.com/news/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1347157

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