NewsAround Acadiana


Social distancing is the new norm - even at KATC

Posted at 9:18 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 22:18:28-04

A lot of businesses are having their employees work from home in order to fight the spread of the coronavirus, and KATC is no exception. Social distancing has become a reality even here at Acadiana's Newschannel.

Reporters, photographers, and producers will, at least for awhile, be doing things a bit differently.

Special Events Producer Hannah Trahan usually works in the newsroom, but for at least the next couple of weeks, her studio is in her very own home.

Since health professionals encourage everyone to practice social distancing, we implemented that in our interview, from Scott Brazda to Hannah.

Hannah began working at home earlier this week, a move initially met with a bit of excitement until reality kicked in.

"I was packing up my computer and it hit me," explains Hannah. "It was surreal how many people are affected by this and how we still have to continue with the job set before us to get things done."

Watching the double monitors, she's communicating with reporters, videographers, and producers via group cats on the left.

"And on the right side I have press conferences that will happen throughout the day. The President is speaking right now about the coronavirus. I have a surge protector and we are doing our best," adds Hannah.

Social distancing is being practiced by all. Videographers like Darius Johnson and reporters such as yours truly are using separate vehicles.

Meanwhile, another of our news producers, Harrison Fredericks, has traded KATC the building for KATC the mobile workspace, i.e. his apartment.

"I would say there's more communication required because we're not all in one room. So it's a lot of checking up on people, making calls, a lot of messaging back and forth," explains Harrison.

Harrison says while it's quieter at home, and he's had to rearrange his bedroom to accommodate station technology, the responsibility is still the same.

"Taking on that responsibility, whether I'm working from home, whether from the station, we still need to get this news out there, we still need to update people on what's happening."

Group chats with reporters have replaced the face-to-face meetings, but the conveyance of information goes on.

And when the old normal returns, hopefully sooner rather than later, will Hannah be willing to give up her blanket and slippers?

"If it means that everyone is healthy and can go to work again," Hannah says, "Then I'll be happy about it."