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Friday, February 2, 2018

Interview with Author Tim Ortman

NEWSREAL: A view through the lens, when…

Tim Ortman is an Emmy Award winning cameraman who has spent 35 years - a lifetime, working in television news, having worked for all major U.S television news networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX) and the BBC. His understanding of the overall television production process is comprehensive; with over three decades of experience shooting, lighting, editing, story editing, writing, and producing news.

1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you
from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a
book? What I considered a quick start to a normal career in television news, was viewed by many others as a meteoric launch to a fascinating career. After hearing tales of my early career, I was told repeatedly, “you should write a book about those times” but I always discounted it. Quietly, almost secretly, I began to jot down thoughts and stories from the many journals I’d kept, to see if there was a cohesive story to be told. And then, one friend told me, “You should write a book about those times… and you should meet my brother, he’s a publisher.” That was motivation enough to turn a series of news stories into a memoir with the theme being; a look back from the pinnacle of international network news.

That theme took on a secondary purpose when the entire news media came under attack (as enemies of the American people) from President Trump and his supporters. While first a memoir, this book is also a defense of the crucial role the mainstream news media plays in our society.  

2. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted
reader? The book is about my life and work overseas as a staff network cameraman for NBC News. I witnessed many historic world events such as the war in Lebanon, the famine in Ethiopia, and the fall of communism. But it also provides a glimpse into the inner workings of a major American news network, the foreign press corps, and the many interesting people dedicated to covering news around the world.
This book is for anyone who has ever read The New York Times, Wall Street Journal or Huffington Post or watched NBC Nightly News or 60 Minutes. But the audience is even wider. The ratings for TV network news have declined. Today’s viewers are half of what they were when NEWSREAL takes place. Where did they go? Have younger readers/viewers turned to Facebook, Google, and Twitter as news sources? Is social media the successor to award-winning journalism?

3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts
for readers who finish your book? What should remain with
them long after putting it down?
The incredible value and importance of a strong and independent news media. In 1971, Supreme Court Justice Black wrote, “The press was to serve the governednot the governors.”

This nation, all nations are far stronger with a strong news media than without.

Additionally, we are a world of many nations and news reporting
should reflect a global perspective. Not all news is originated in Washington D.C. World news coverage keeps viewers and consumers of news aware of potential threats. But also, that same global coverage, can shed light on the many similarities we share and create empathy that can help shrink the globe.

4. What great challenges did you have in writing your
book? I had no difficulty committing time to this project. As it’s about my life, I found it easy to reflect upon and re-tell those stories. And, I had a great deal of help from a nurturing editor and knowledgeable publisher...and that is where I encountered challenges. My initial manuscript was more reporting than writing. To write within their suggested framework, I needed to slow down and unpack the professional and emotional baggage of life on the frontlines of news. Initially, I had covered the basics of journalism; who, what, where, when, why. But I (perhaps intentionally) omitted the deeper dive into sentiments and feelings of that life.    

5. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it
be yours? This is a book that entertains and informs; without being preachy. This is a look back to a time, not so long ago, when the system of covering and reporting news worked. And, it can still be applied to today.

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. 

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