Sometimes all you need is a little luck

July 26th, 2013 at 2:59 pm by under Interns

My first week in news has been great! I am being exposed to so much, and I feel like I learn several new things each day. On Monday, I went out in the field with a photographer, Rob Rizzo. We were scheduled to go get video of two different stories, but our plans for the day quickly changed! Our first story was about an old diner that was being tore down in Portsmouth, so we were going to get video of the demolition. To our surprise, the building was still standing when we arrived and there were no crews preparing to take it down. Rob started shooting video just in case the station would need it. While he was shooting, a woman pulled up in her car and started talking to me about her plan to save a mural inside the old restaurant. Rob and I ended up interviewing her and she was the definition of a central compelling character. She told us about her great memories of going to the restaurant, and what saving the mural behind the bar would mean to her. She was a very passionate person, and I couldn’t help but think how lucky we we’re to interview her. I remember one of my broadcast professors telling me that reporting can sometimes require a little luck. Now I definitely understand what he meant when he said that.

My luck continued throughout the week. I was able to shoot some great stand-ups with photographers! I did one at the oceanfront in Virginia Beach, and also at a gas leak in Norfolk at Old Dominion University. I’m so grateful for these experiences, because it’s teaching me a lot about being able to ad lib and go live. I also must admit that I’ve been so spoiled by all the photographers! At school, I’m used to being a one-man band – I shoot, edit, and write everything on my own. The news department at WAVY has a great staff of talented photographers. On Wednesday, I went out with Greg Gadberry and he taught me so much! We shot three different stand-ups and he really encouraged me to emphasize my words and perform. He also taught me how to do a five-part stand-up, and told me ways I could shoot it myself. He had some really creative ideas for me to try, and it was great experience working with him! I also went with him to do an interview, which was helpful to see what kind of questions are good to ask.

Shooting a stand-up at Virginia Beach

Shooting a stand-up at Virginia Beach

In news, I will experience several different types of scenarios, and it’s important to know how to perform in each one. I covered a fire with Rob on Monday and being on the scene was surprisingly difficult for me. There was a dog inside the building and the firemen rescued him. He had inhaled a lot of smoke, and the firefighters were trying to get him to take oxygen. Being the animal lover that I am, it was difficult for me to watch! I couldn’t help but think to myself – what if it was a person? If I am a reporter someday, I will have to experience these kind of things a lot. I realized dealing with difficult situations is an important part of the business. You need to do your job, while also treating people with grace and respect. It can also be difficult to stay composed in tough situations. While I was out in the field with Greg, we interviewed a guy who was upset and showed a lot of emotion. I though about the questions Greg asked, and how they would differ if the man was in a different mood. As a journalist, you have to understand people’s emotions and be empathetic. I’m thankful to be learning these lessons now.

I’ve also been working in web this week! I never realized how fast-paced this department is! When news comes into the station, it has to hit the web first. The people working at the web desk have a lot of pressure to get the facts right, while posting the story to the web as fast as they can! They also handle the Facebook pages and twitter accounts. I never realized how much work it is – but web is one of the most important aspects of the industry today. People look online for their news, and if it’s not there viewers aren’t happy. The web desk is also in charge of posting videos from the news online for viewers who want to watch certain clips. I’ve got some great experience in web this week, posting three AP stories to the website and even writing my own! I was on my way home yesterday, and saw an accident where a car had hit a telephone pole and the pole landed on the hood of the car. I called the web desk and asked if they had heard about the accident. I pulled over and snapped a couple of pictures and sent them to the station. My pictures ended up on the website and I even got an attribute! I was pretty excited to contribute something to the web content!

Caitlyn and I during our mock newscast

Caitlyn and I during our mock newscast

I’ve also got some great anchoring experience this week! I co-anchored a mock A-block of the 6:00 news on Wednesday night. It was really exciting to anchor in such a nice studio! It was also my first time co-anchoring, so it was a neat experience. Today, the interns got together to do our final project! We filmed a mock Hampton Roads show and I was one of the co-hosts. It was a little rough, but we got through it and had fun! I am so lucky to be getting these experiences at WAVY. Experience is one of the most important things to have if you want to work in the news business, and I’m so glad to be getting so many great opportunities. I have the world at my feet, so I want to take advantage of it. I’m in news next week as well, so I can’t wait to keep improving on my stand-ups and learn more about this exciting field.

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