Week 3: TV News, Press Conferences and Exploring Whyte Avenue

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This journal was for the week of January 25th. 

This week, I made my transition into the faster-paced world of TV news. And while I was the most excited for this part of my internship, it turned out to be a little disappointing for me.

My first day in news actually started out swimmingly. My producer Neill Fitzpatrick sent me out on assignment to shadow a reporter named Scott Fralick on a story about icy roads. Having spent the past two weeks mostly in the newsroom, it was nice to go on a little road trip to see how a news story gets put together. It was also nice that Scott trusted me to do his streeters for him. Because after seeing the end result play on television, it felt rewarding to see that some of my work actually made it on television.

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Tuesday and Wednesday however, turned out to be slow days for me. Having already went through my training for the video editing software Avid, I was annoyed that I spent half of my day sitting around. Bored of doing nothing, I eventually asked a producer if there was something (ANYTHING) I could do to help. And giving me a look of mild surprise, it seemed to me that she was a little shocked that I already knew how to cut clips and build sequences.

I’ll be honest and say that I hated being underestimated. People kept telling me to do what “makes me comfortable” instead of giving me something that I could actually benefit from. But being the intern, I guess this is what life has to be like until I start building trust with my superiors. So admitting that I was bored, I was eventually assigned to cut interview clips, edit sequences and write copy stories. And at some point on Wednesday, they even sent me out to the police station to cover/live-tweet four press conferences. At least that was interesting.

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I will admit that cutting clips and writing copy isn’t the most thrilling work to do. However, it was actually very useful for me. I think my biggest weakness doing anything related to broadcast news is being able to write for images in a conversational tone. But having been assigned to write a number of copy stories this week, I found myself improving. Of course I did not like seeing my sentences tweaked and moved around in the beginning. But seeing the editors’ changes taught me what I should be doing better for next time.

The good thing about this week was that it progressed faster towards the end – probably because I kept asking if there was anything I could do. On Thursday, two of my copy stories and their accompanying clips/images made it on the 5:00 news. What was also nice was how my producer Neill would also take a little time with me to look at my scripts amid a breaking news report about a stolen laptop from Alberta’s Medicentres. I thought that was really considerate.

Another thing that I liked was the fact that I was sent out on Friday to the library to gather clips about the new solar lamps it was receiving. As you might remember from a previous journal of mine, this is the same story I got to produce for EdmontonAM about light therapy during the first week of my internship. It was great because I already knew what the story was about and was able to write a good script that didn’t need a lot of edits. What was even better was that my copy, interview clips and sequences ended up playing on the 5:00 pm and 11:00 pm news!

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Overall, this week wasn’t what I expected but I am hoping that my second week in TV will be much better. Switching departments really made me feel like a small fish in the newsroom because I often felt neglected. I’m pretty sure this is normal for a lot of interns but what I am going to do next week is speak up by asking for more work and attempting to pitch a variety of story ideas.

Other than that, Saturday made for an incredibly warm day. My sister ventured out to a very family-oriented Chinese New Year bash and managed to eat some good grub. After that, we walked on the High Level Bridge and explored Whyte Avenue. And with that, I found my new favourite place!

Gama Store is a Taiwanese store that serves great milk cap tea and pancakes. We tried one with Oreo filling inside!

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