Marc Halualani is a bit of a rarity in the broadcasting world. He’s been at the same job for 21 years. Sure, there have been a few promotions along the way — the Full Sail grad has gone from an entry-level video journalist role with Headline News to Creative Services Editor/Producer for CNN, Headline News, and CNN International — but since January 1992, he’s shown up for work at the same address.
Except when he’s traveling around the country or across the globe.
While most of Marc’s job occurs at his desk in Atlanta, the occasional assignment gets him out into the field, which is where his real passion lies. “I covered the D.C. Navy Yard shooting, headed to Pensacola for Tropical Storm Karen, spent three weeks in Boston after the marathon bombing, and went to Oklahoma City after the tornado,” he says. “I’ve been to the Middle East many times, visited 46 states, and I spent three weeks at the end of Obama’s 2008 campaign. That is what keeps my job interesting.”
Times have changed in the two decades since Marc started doing in-the-field editing. Besides camera and mics, Marc used to haul along edit cases the size of lounge chairs. “Now I can just take a laptop. We used to have to stop and find payphones [to communicate with the home office]. Now we have smartphones and WiFi and iPads. I can do so much more in the field.”
Back at the office, a typical day has Marc working on segments that will air on any of the three networks he contributes to. “I arrive in the morning and then I just start handling assignments for the next 10 hours – some are needed in five minutes and some in two hours,” he says. “But it’s not stressful. Not really. I’ve been doing this for so long I could do it in my sleep.”
Besides changes in the hardware he uses to do his job, Marc sees that the entire industry has changed because of technology. “People are using their smartphones for their news, which means they want their news quicker and quicker,” he says. “We’re all trying to be first but trying to keep it accurate. As editors, we’re the last line of defense. Once I edit and push it into playback, that’s it, it’s going on the air. It’s forced me to become more mindful, to take my time.”