Producing a newscast

This past Wednesday I had the opportunity to act as an executive producer and put together a newscast with the help of some other fabulous interns at the station.

I will say this was a true test of everything that I have learned so far this semester.  For this newscast I had to coordinate the reporters and anchors, deciding who would fulfill each role and what content to use. In addition to choosing content, I had to decide the order of the rundown and make the stories flow from one to another.

Though this whole process, I have learned that there are two major parts that I love about producing. The first is the writing. I enjoy getting to write all different kinds of stories. Typically a reporter focuses on one or two stories a day, but as a producer, you can be involved in developing all the stories for your show.

The second thing that I truly enjoy is all the people I get to work with. From the directors in the booth to the anchors on set and everyone in between, each person brings a different set of skills that make a show possible.

I hope you enjoy my first show as a producer. It was a blast to work with this talented set of interns! I can’t wait to see the places that we are able to go.

 

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Moving in the right direction

Stacking rundowns and writing stories has become my life and I love every minute of it! This past week my schedule got switched around so I am now putting in three (early) mornings at the station. Because of that I am able to get a lot more hands-on practice and best of all, get feedback from producers.

I am looking forward to next week because I will hopefully get a chance to get some booth experience. Since I have been writing and stacking the live cut-ins that we do during the 3rd hour of the today show, one of the producers  wants me to get a chance to do the next step; loading the prompters, setting the time clocks, and all the other fun stuff that goes on behind the scenes in the booth.

I have found that the more I ask for stuff to do the even more they willing to give me. Heck, now they give me stuff to do without event asking! I feel that by stepping up they see that I am up to the challenge and challenge me they do.

I see other interns around the station that are too nervous to ask for something to do, or are nervous to ask for help, but I have found that it’s better to ask a question up front then to sit there for 20 minutes doing nothing. Especially when a lot of the things were are helping with in the newsroom are on a deadline. And like I mentioned before, your work won’t be worth anything, in broadcast especially, if you miss your deadline.

In addition to my days at the station, I am writing for The State Hornet newspaper at California State University, Sacramento. It has definitely been a challenge to jump back and forth between two formats.

Some people might not realize just how different the two media styles are, but they are! Broadcast is more, write the way you talk. It’s like having a conversation. Print writing is more formal and includes more details that are typically shortened or not pertinent enough to make it into a 30 second vo/sot.

I will say that by jumping back and forth between styles has made me look more critically at my writing. For example, making sure my writing is more concise and precise. It is important to be able to tell a story without it being to wordy or have distracting terms.

My goal for this next week is to focus on just that; to be more concise and precise with my writing.

Look for my blog post and the same time next week! I am sure I will have a story to share with you all from the booth.

Ah-Choo!

This week has been a weird one, for sure. Somewhere between work, school, writing for The State Hornet and interning at KCRA, I picked up a nasty cold. So the learning point of this week has been self-care.

When the semester started I decided to go 13 days without a day off. On top of that I was going on about 4 hours of sleep each night. I figured out that doesn’t quite work when you want, and need, to be at the top of your game.

I fought hard this week to not miss a day of anything, be it work, school or one of my internships, but in the end I realized I was just making myself worse. So, I put on my big-girl pants and called in sick to my internship Saturday morning to catch up on some zzz’s and nock out my cold. I can say, as I write this Sunday night I feel back to about 90%.

Self-care. The idea of taking care of yourself so you don’t crash and burn, or in my case get a nasty cold.

In journalism, you are constantly meeting new people. It could be for an interview or even networking, but I can tell you no one will want to shake your hand when you are sniffling or coughing up a lung. Learning point: Take care of yourself before you get to this point.

In my internships and other connections everyone has told me to be prepared. Be prepared to interview the president if the call comes. So, I am going to apply this to other things. Be prepared to be on a live shot all day, so pack a healthy lunch to take with you. Be prepared to get enough sleep by planning time to work on stories and other assignments.

I am prepared to be at the top of my game this week. I have some exciting stories I am covering for the hornet and I can’t wait to get back to writing and producing stuff at KCRA.

On a side note (kind of), I had some of my stories published in the past couple issues of The State Hornet, so if you would like to check those out click HERE.

 

 

 

Day 1 at KCRA 3

I was always kind of confused when people would say, “I feel like a kid in a candy store.” They always use the phrase and there is never any candy to be seen! Well, I think I am starting to finally understand what people mean.

Today I feel like I found my candy store. Broadcast News or station or newsroom, or just all of it! Today was the very first day of my internship at KCRA 3 News in Sacramento, and a great first day it was.

The sound of phones ringing and police scanners coming from the Assignment Desk welcomed me to the newsroom and soon I found myself swept up in the tasks of the day. I got to it by shadowing the Assignment Editor, and soon I was answering calls on my own and helping research possible leads on a story. Who knew my flight searching skills would become handy?

Before I knew it it was 2pm!

As I was finishing up my online searching, a photographer got tasked with heading up to Roseville to get some shots of the KCRA sponsored blood drive. Can you guess who jumped at the chance to go with him?

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Okay. It was meIMG_2600. No real surprise in that I suppose.

This is where the “kid in a candy store” feeling really kicked it. I got to ride in the news van! Even better, when we arrive at our destination the cameraman hands me the mic and I’m shoving candy into my pockets!

Never in a million years did I think that on my first day I would be going out, mic in hand, with the chance of interviewing people. But here I was.

Not even going to lie, I was nervous! I have a habit of forgetting that people are human, just like me. The cameraman I was paired up with was my hero and gave me the little pep talk I needed and away we went.

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Believe it or not the semester hasn’t even started yet, but I am learning so much. I cannot wait to see what the next 15 weeks or so have in store for me and all that I can learn.

Today’s Take-aways:
(There were A LOT, but here are two good ones that I wrote down)

  • Interview tips:
    • A good starting question is just to ask for the person to give background. Ask them to tell you about the event being covered, or what they see happening.
    • End an interview by asking for name and spelling. Even ask where they are from. By doing this at the end you are earning their trust and they may feel more comfortable sharing it with you.