Week 2: Birthday, Producing and Making A Cameo On The Radio

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These journals are part of my practicum. But since I want to update my friends on my life, here’s what I’ve been doing in Edmonton. This was one I wrote on January 18.) 

This was my last week working with the current affairs section at CBC Edmonton. And having had a week to get used to how the radio shows run, I felt like I achieved much more than last week having produced six interviews and provided tape for the morning show.

Last week gave me the opportunity to produce my first interview, but it was clear that I still had room to improve in terms of writing scripts for radio. On Monday, I pitched the idea of interviewing a local artist and her crowdfunding campaign to provide Edmontonians more opportunities to sell/make goods. And while the producers liked my suggestion, they wanted me to pre-interview her again to find a clearer focus. Of course that made me second- guess my idea. But determined that I could make this story could work, I contacted the artist again and managed to find a focus that didn’t sound like a PR opportunity for her campaign.

I’ll admit that I was a bit scatterbrained when it came interviewing and organizing the guest to come into the studio for an interview as it was only my second time producing. But with the assistance of my producers, I was able to come up with a suitable script for the interview that ended up sounding great on air. After this obstacle, I finally felt much more confident to continue pitching and producing interviews. Having learned that pitching stories is the key to getting more opportunities to work, I kept my eyes and ears open for unique, local stories that could be suitable for the show.

Another reason why I was much busier this week was because I felt that my producer trusted me more and more as I progressed. Whenever she asked me to chase a guest, I always said “yes” to show her I was hard-working. And for that reason, I was able to help her find guests to speak about the Canadian Screen Awards, Hockey Day in Canada and the local production of Romeo+Juliet. In addition to that, I was able to pre-interview, research and write scripts for these interviews. However, it certainly felt much more rewarding to pitch and chase my own guests. One of my favourite interviews to produce this week was with a former researcher with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. With the government’s cuts to science libraries, I felt that it was important for people to know how this is affecting local scientists.

But while chasing guests has been fun, the highlight of the week was when I got to collect tape during the Stanley Cup’s short visit to City Hall Wednesday morning. Even though I had to wake up at the ungodly hour of 5:00 am, I had a lot of fun interviewing hockey fans and taking pictures at the event. Because not only did I get to see a symbol so important and popular to sports fans, the fruits of my labour were put to good use. The tape I collected went on air during EdmontonAM’s Friday show and the producer/host of Our Edmonton wanted to use my pictures for her show (she mentioned that she would give me credit).

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Overall, I am very pleased with the amount of work I was able to do during my internship. And to be honest with you, I don’t even think I would be given this much freedom and trust to produce work had I interned in Toronto. Of course I am still getting used to Edmonton, but the support and advice I’ve received from my co-workers have allowed me to get better each day. Having helped produce six interviews this week, I now feel quite comfortable with how these live radio shows work. It has been fun working in current affairs, but now I am excited to be working in news for the next two weeks. It’ll be a different atmosphere, but I am glad that this internship is giving me more flexibility to work on my skills.

Other things I did that weren’t part of the internship was celebrate my birthday! We went to Tres Carnales, a local taco restaurant. My sister and I shared fish tacos and a chorizo torta (spicy sausage). It was most definitely delicious! I was also grateful to spend the day with some new friends (aka my sister’s chemistry homies.) Safe to say, it’s been a pretty gluttonous birthday weekend!

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