Michael J. Fitzgerald has been a journalist for 40 years, working as a writer and editor for newspapers, magazines and web publications. In 2014 he published the novel, "The Fracking War." In 2015, he published his second novel, "Fracking Justice." He writes or contributes to five blogs. He and his wife Sylvia Fox are the owners and principal partners in *subject2change Media, a multi-media firm involved in print, video and broadcast. He writes a weekly column, "Write On" for the daily 'Finger Lakes Times' newspaper in Geneva, NY. He was a journalism professor at CSU Sacramento from 1986 to 2011 teaching Newswriting, Column Writing and Magazine Writing.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (7:19 a.m.) - Oh, to be out shooting video and photos in shorts and a t-shirt again.
The shot with today's blog is from last year's Zihuatenejo SailFest, where I was the official photographer and also took hours of video of the events. I learned two things through that experience: cameras are damned heavy to carry and you can't take notes and be a photographer, too.
The first lesson I learned years ago when I carried a SLR Pentax to anti-war demonstrations, partly to take pictures, partly as a piece of self-defense equipment in case an unruly protestor took a dislike to a journalist being at the scene. One of my first reporting assignments was covering the funeral of a Hell's Angel. Some of them suggested that I should do something with my camera that is (I believe) anatomically impossible, so I shot quickly and left even more quickly.
But what brings this all to mind is that on assignment two days ago, I neglected to bring my still camera. Big mistake. While I'm only providing the text for the magazine article, having some photos of the people I interviewed at the Folsom Lake College campus (where I spent an hour wandering about) would have been a big help to give me some visuals as I wrote up the story.
So today, as I trundle off to the University for some academic/political duties, the camera will be back in my hand.
But before those duties later, I'm going to scan some of the photos and videos of Zihuatenejo to remember what it was like to sport around in a warm climate with two cameras and a reporter's notebook in my hand - while wearing shorts and a T-shirt.