NATAS announced its Southeastern Emmy nominations over the weekend. The list includes some eye-openers. It appears WSB got “team coverage” nominations for two stories it covered the same day– the Americus tornado, and the Bluffton University baseball team bus crash on I-75. March 2 2007 was a sick day, news-wise: Two genuinely disastrous stories broke before dawn on the same day. They spread thin the staffs of every Atlanta news organization. WSB apparently got both stories right, at least in the eyes of the NATAS judges.
We also note at least four nominations by WAGA general assignment reporter Tony Thomas. Thomas is a smart and ridiculously hard-working reporter, the kind of guy who wants to go to all the hurricanes and doesn’t object to consecutive double-shifts. He deserves some trophies. So does Chris Rosenthal, who is nominated with Thomas in three of the categories and is arguably the most gifted young photog in town.
This year’s list also shows the continuation of a trend in the Southeastern Emmys: Atlanta dominates the region. But smaller markets, mostly Greenville / Asheville / Spartanburg, are pushing aside the Atlanta stations and doing big-time stuff. WYFF (Greenville) and WLOS (Asheville) have a lock on the Feature News Report category. Two of the three nominees for News Photographer are from WYFF. WXIA has the third.
Unlike, say, Denver or the Twin Cities, Atlanta lacks a reputation as a photographer’s market. Atlanta wants little more than pictures that are a) framed decently and b) in focus while c) the photog sets a live shot and d) edits a piece at the same time. WXIA is the closest there is to an NPPA station here. And the four stations mostly don’t do feature reporting, which is considered a waste of resources that should be devoted to hard-news coverage. The smaller markets will still take a moment for Kuralt-esque examinations of humanity’s quirks.
But smaller markets are also encroaching the edgier categories. WAGA’s I-Team gets two Investigative Report nods. But two more go to WYFF and WLOX Biloxi. The Emmy awards banquet is in June. It’s always a good night to root for the little guy.