Action News cameraman `has seen the world’

By Joe Holden
February 22, 2001

by Joe Holden

“I’m an equal opportunity shafter,” Eric Goldenberg said. He gives both sides coverage with bias to either. A retired Channel 6 Action News cameraman, Goldenberg was the eye of Action News for 27 years.

According to Goldenberg, the news business is endless self-promotion. “There’s so much competition out there. I don’t know how I got hired at Action News,” Goldenberg said. “I think if I applied again, I wouldn’t be hired.”

“Eric has seen the world for Action News,” Cathy Yungmann said. Yungmann, associate professor of communication, invited Goldenberg to speak to her television news production class last Wednesday about the industry, its perks and its pains.

Goldenberg, a man with determination and unstoppable confidence, sees himself as an artist with a paintbrush. “I have to translate what is happening from my perspective and make it understandable to others.” Goldenberg does make it understandable for others. “The people that come over to the news van feel like you’re their family.” He sees his responsibility as deciding what to film and who the audience is.

Derick Colonello, a sophomore English/communication major and a student in the news production class, sees the communication and news industry as being a little more brutal than he first thought. “I knew it was a hard field to get into, but I did not realize all of the work it involved,” Colonello said. Colonello, along with the other students, produced a short segment with Goldenberg’s help. Colonello added that he thought Goldenberg knew pretty much everything there was to know about video.

Goldenberg took the time to explain to the students exactly what was expected of them as a photojournalist. The entire business is based on getting in a person’s face. The photojournalist has to bring back what they have experienced. The photojournalist is responsible for getting the feel of what is happening. “You have to grasp the situation and relate it.”

Grasping and relating are two jobs that Goldenberg takes very seriously. Each time a person goes out with a camera, they must be asking themselves, `What does it mean to me and my audience?’ Goldenberg sees the news business as being about ethics. “You must be independent and be able to stand on your own regardless of management.”

Goldenberg credits himself and a friend for being the first to experiment with the camera off the tripod. “Everybody was going by the old rules.” Action News’ first news director, Mel Campmann, told Goldenberg to get out and just do it. That is exactly what Goldenberg did.

Goldenberg is known throughout the Philadelphia metropolitan area for his photojournalism and his credibility. The downside of knowing the movers and shakers of the city is that “you can never be good friends with anybody,” Goldenberg said. “Once you take the oath to be in the Fourth Estate, you are independent.”

“The news business is business. They want to use you until you’re cheap, until you have no more.” Goldenberg said. “It’s a fun field and is quite enjoyable. You’re on the forefront of what’s going on.”

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Joe Holden

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