Broadcast news is so fast-paced that today’s accomplishments are soon forgotten in the relentless churn of the 24-hour cycle.
When industry recognition came for Suffolk broadcast journalism alumnus Dan Lampariello, ’14 -- in the form of a Boston/New England Emmy Award for best 24-hour video journalism -- the roll-with-the-punches pro was caught in a rare unprepared moment.
“I didn’t expect it at all,” he says. “I was actually in line at the bar when they called my name and had to run to the stage to accept!”
As a multimedia journalist for WGME News in Portland, Maine, Lampariello knows how to think on his feet. He’s a “one-man band,” finding interesting local stories every day and bringing them to life on-camera by himself. That means being responsible for both sides of every shoot -- as interviewer and camera operator -- and editing the final pieces in time for the 5 o’clock broadcast.
Lampariello’s work was nominated for three Emmy awards this year, up from one last year and part of an impressive 13 nominations for his station. His winning entry featured three stories from the past year: coverage of a microburst that turned out to be a small tornado, the tale of a llama running loose on a golf course, and the plight of a family whose pet goats were in danger of being removed due to an obscure city ordinance.
“The goat piece was one of my favorites,” says Lampariello. “The family called the station for help because the city was threatening to take their pygmy goats away after they’d previously been granted permission to house them.”
Lampariello met the goats and spoke with the family and city officials about the misunderstanding. After the story aired the family was allowed to keep their pets.
Perfecting his craft on the job
Lampariello gained valuable experience rolling with the punches of news production and live broadcasts during his time as a student reporter for NECN on “Suffolk in the City” -- including a memorable first on-air shoot when his malfunctioning earpiece led to confusion and caused him to walk off the set mid-broadcast.
His current solo role makes preparation and detail-checking even more critical. When each day brings a new story “there’s no going back,” so it’s imperative to check sound, framing, and the ‘record’ button. However, that doesn’t mean Lampariello strives for textbook perfection.
“Once you have the basics down, you can be more creative and break the rules a bit,” he says. “For instance, sometimes I’ll film interviews through trees or shoot someone from very far away. Those are technically ‘against the rules’ of framing a shot, but they make the piece more interesting. Those techniques help a story stand out.”
So what’s next for Lampariello? He just re-signed with WGME, which is also home to fellow “Suffolk in the City” alumni Katie Sampson and Dan McCarthy.
“I love this state, and I love this station because they value and support storytelling.”