I know, I know, I let it happen. I let my blog fall by the wayside. It’s terrible!
But the truth is, I really haven’t had that much to post. Seeing as this blog is meant to be a showcase for my journalistic accomplishments and the journey that leads me toward them, I haven’t produced much this year that I could physically post here — until now.
Unlike last year, when I had a fresh new print story to paste here each week, this year I’ve been grappling mainly with a new medium: television!
I began my foray into television news production at the beginning of this semester. I’m VERY fortunate to be learning from Canadian broadcasting powerhouse Susan Harada.
Having Susan as a prof was intimidating at first because she’s so accomplished. But I’ve learned so much from her already, along with my TAs and technical instructors, I feel like I may get the hang of this strange new TV world soon!
The challenge with television news production is that you not only have to find a very timely and important story, you also have to make sure that story is visually interesting enough to compel a viewer to watch it. The principle here is “show don’t tell,” and for someone as verbose as me, it’s no easy task!
However, I’m not doing it all on my own. I have my two wonderful group members Ella Myers and Courtney Hurley to keep me on track.
Doing journalism in a group has taken some getting used to. The program has always been such a solo race for me before that I’ve found it a real challenge to sit back and realize I don’t need to do everything — and shouldn’t make every decision! (We type “a” personalities have a hard time with that!) But slowly and surely, I am learning and as a group we’re meshing better every week. I love working with these ladies because where one person falls short, the others have just the strengths needed to fill the void.
One strength I have that’s really surprised me in this class is my ability to do a solid “talkback” with a short amount of prep time. Talkbacks are when you watch a news conference (or something of that nature), take maybe two minutes to gather your thoughts (if you’re lucky), and then turn around and report live to an anchor who asks you questions or requests a summary from you about what you’ve seen.
It’s nerve-racking to stare down the lens of a camera without anything prepared to say, but somehow, I find I’ve learned to deliver the news confidently and on time. I don’t know what this says for my future, but all I can say is that I’m really glad I did improv theatre growing up!
Like I said, mastering audio, lighting, camera-framing, interviewing for TV and –scariest of all– editing, has not been easy.
But hey– we must be doing something right! This week, our TV feature on tattoo culture in Ottawa was featured on Centretown News Online! Check out the story and let me know what you think!
Stay tuned! More updates to come, including one on my VERY FIRST PAID JOURNALISM JOB EVER!!