Assembling a textbook requires a team effort not unlike the creation of a news broadcast. The editor is the executive producer, the author is the producer, and the team is made up of an assortment of people, businesses, and institutions that contribute valuable elements to the final product. Our “executive producer” was Linda Bathgate of Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Her team consisted of: Karin Wittig Bates and Marianna Vertullo.
The people who took on the challenge of creating computer systems specific to the needs of television news production deserve a tremendous ovation. Many were entrepreneurs who gambled their finances and their futures for an idea. Others were employees of technology and communication firms who stepped out of the safe and narrow to lead their companies in new directions. On the broadcast side, many people gambled on computer technology, devoting a tremendous amount of time to understanding this new technology because they had the foresight to see that computers were going to become essential to television newsgathering and production. There simply isn't sufficient space to list every name, and leaving anyone out would be a disservice. Many of the people who helped us acquire the knowledge that led to this book are mentioned in our history of newsroom computer system technology, Automating Television News: A Generation of Change(Castle Garden Press, 1999). I am particularly grateful to two organizations that made it possible for me to study television news production in the very real environment of a television newsroom and a management seminar. I thank the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Radio-Television News Directors Foundation for awarding us an Excellence in Journalism Education fellowship that allowed me to observe close up the workings of WMTW-TV News in Auburn and Portland, Maine. I also thank station manager and news director Dave Baer and his staff for their interest and patience in updating me on the techniques and challenges of producing TV news.