Joe, thanks for your time!
Joe Little: I am a News Reporter at KGTV, 10News in San Diego. At least that’s what they public sees. Inside the industry, I’m a Multimedia Journalist, better known as an MMJ. I work the day shift Monday through Friday.
JN: How are things with you right now? Life, work…..
JL: It took me a while to figure out the balance between life and work. It’s hard to realize there needs to be a balance between the two while realizing you can’t separate the two. I am very close to figuring out that balance but things overall are really good for me.
JN: Do you have anything you’d like to talk about? Such as stories from TV News?
JL: That’s the broadest question. You might as well ask, “What’s up?” But since you left the mic open… I am discouraged by the quality of news being pumped out there these days. Social media has diluted our ability to produce quality stories. There is such a rush for NEW and NOW that we often forget about ACCURATE and HIGH QUALITY. I also hate stick mics and mic flags. Those are the microphones most reporters use: The big mic in their hands with a big plastic box on the top with the station’s logo. IT’S UGLY and distracting. I haven’t used one for a story since 2013. Since you asked.
JN: Do you have a previous career not associated with TV News?
JL: I have been on this path since college. I left the business for a week to try and make money in sales. I cried three of the five days I was in sales. Literally cried. I’m a storyteller. I don’t know how to do anything else.
JN: San Diego… What is your favorite place to visit?
JL: I love visiting my couch when I’m tired. I love going to Hamilton’s or Stone when I’m thirsty. I love Belmont Park with my kids.
JN: Is your job still as exciting like it was day one?
JL: No. It’s better. I sucked when I started in this business and I had no idea what I was doing. I really didn’t figure it out until a few years ago. Now I love coming to work (most days) and going out to tell a story.
JN: Where is your favorite place to go out and eat?
JL: I love The Neighborhood in the East Village. I love Pizzo’s Pizzeria and Wine Bar near my home in Chula Vista.
JL: I played basketball at George Mason University…before they were good. And I mostly sat the bench. But I love George Mason. I love the history behind the school’s namesake and the school itself. I named both my children after the school (Mason and Tyler George). I even tattooed the school’s logo on my right shoulder.
JN: How do you view TV News now, compared to the past, then looking to the future?
JL: I was trying to get through my day when I was a kid. I don’t know how I viewed TV News back then. Today, I’m terrified about the future. So many people turn to social media for information. They’re not tuning in to the news at 5 PM anymore. We need to evolve but no one has the right formula. Someone is going to be filthy rich if they figure out how to monetize the news across the platforms.
JN: What is your favorite movie?
JL: This is an impossible question for someone like me to answer. I LOVE going to see big blockbusters. I can’t stand MOST of the films nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Birdman was garbage. A quick list of movies I will stop to watch any second: Braveheart, Aliens, JFK, Ironman, Glory, Star Wars, etc.
JN: With Social Media being so prevalent, tell me the advantages of using FB, Instagram, Twitter to connect with your viewers.
JL: Facebook is king and if you think otherwise, you’re fooling yourself. Facebook and all the social media reach people instantly. Now. No waiting. Which is great. However, a tweet doesn’t pay the bills. We need to figure out how to make money off the tweet, or better yet, craft a brilliant tweet that is interesting and gets people to watch the broadcast on ABC10. Television is still king when it comes to ad revenue.
JN: What is your favorite TV News moment, involving yourself?
JL: I was one of the first reporters at the crash site of United Flight 93 in Shanksville, PA on September 11. Most reporters go a career without being involved in a moment that changes history: JFK assassination, Apollo Moon landing, 9/11. I got it two years into my career.
JL: Let’s be honest: Nothing beats working in San Diego. We never work in the snow. We barely work in the rain. That alone is worth the price of admission. However, the cost of living sucks. California and San Diego are brutally expensive and reporters don’t make as much money as you may think. If circumstances were right, I’d move. Sadly, I’d move. It’s too damn expensive here.
JN: What is the most interesting job you’ve ever had?
JL: You can’t top being a news reporter. The crappiest job I’ve ever had was as a line serve at BBQ Jamboree in Northern Virginia while in high school. That sucked.
JN: What broadcasters do you look up to?
JL: I am blessed to be a part of this great faculty with the NPPA News Video Workshop. The people I look up to are literally my friends or they KNOW the people I admire. John Larson, Les Rose, John Sharify, Matt Mrozinski, Brett Akagi, Greg Vandergrift, Mike Schuh, Julie Jones, Stan Heist, Lisa Berglund, Joe Mahoney, Tim Underhill, Kevin Hartfield, Adam Vance, Dave Wertheimer, Josh Maranhas, Steve Hooker, Charles Hadlock, Sharon Levy, & Evelio Contreras.
JN: If you could go back in time and work during any era of TV News for a few days - which would you choose?
JL: One where reporters and television were still king. Back when TV stations were printing money in the basement. Those days are OVER.