The Good Stuff: They call him Mr. Semmie

The Good Stuff: They call him Mr. Semmie
46-year TV news veteran Semmie Buffin, of KSLA News 12 (Source: KSLA News 12, Danielle Scruggs)
46-year TV news veteran Semmie Buffin, of KSLA News 12 (Source: KSLA News 12, Danielle Scruggs)
(Source: KSLA News 12)
(Source: KSLA News 12)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Forty-six years in the same business.

And nearly all of them working at KSLA News 12 in Shreveport.

That is quite the accomplishment for Chief Photographer Semmie Buffin.

And an even greater accomplishment, his induction into the NATAS Silver Circle, established to recognize individuals who have devoted at least 25 years to the television industry.

"I worked with a lot of talented people, and I never worked with anybody more talented and dedicated and more professional than Semmie Buffin," said former KSLA reporter and News Director Mike Staggs.

Known to us as "Mr. Semmie," he was one of the first African-American photojournalists in the field of broadcast.

Over more than 40 years, he's held many positions at KSLA News 12.

Buffin also has seen technology evolve from film to tape and now digital.

"When Semmie came to work at Channel 12," former co-worker Art Shiver recalled, "we were transitioning from film to video.

"He was right on the forefront. He caught on very quickly. He was a part of that."

And as the technology advanced and the demands and expectations of reporters and photographers increased, so did Buffin's passion for TV news.

"The broadcast industry is changing," explained Andy Likes, of the NATAS Mid-America Emmy Awards.

"Those that stay in it, the pioneers like Semmie, they're leading the way for this generation and also the next generation of broadcasters."

KSLA News Director Jayne Ruben points out that she often pairs Buffin with some of KSLA News 12's newest reporters to help them during their early days as a new employee.

"What he brings every day, he loves what he does," Ruben shared.

"You have to love what you do. Coming to work with a smile on his face and tackle whatever the job brings today."

Buffin gives credit to first getting into the TV news business to his wife, Bert, who was working at another Shreveport TV station and encouraged him to join the industry.

"That's what you want as a news director," Staggs said.

"You want people who know what they're doing. If you have good people, you leave them alone and let them do their job."

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