Wednesday, January 16, 2008

More adventures in election reporting!

Oh, broadcasting. Never a dull moment, and last night proves it.

So, as I said in my last post, I went down south to Kalamazoo last night to track the election numbers as they come in. Well doncha know, that for the first time in the memory of WOOD, Kalamazoo County was actually USING the election tracking system they had set up, and they were able to watch the votes coming in from the station in Grand Rapids ANYWAY. *sigh*

That's the first part of the night; don't go far, it gets better!

So after I got the call to come on back, I hop on 131 (US-131, a fairly major highway through West Michigan) and on my way back to Grand Rapids, I hear a strange thumping and then a BOOM. Oh yeah, I had popped a tire. As if that wasn't enough, my cell phone had died on the way back, so what was left for me to do? Turn on the hazards and hoof it to the nearest exit and find a gas station. I fortunately was only 1/4 of a mile or so away from one, so it wasn't a LONG walk, but someone did actually stop and give me a lift for the larger part of the (albeit short) trip. From there, it gets boring, I got the gas station's phone and called AAA and they got me back on the road again, so I was fine, but I do need to get that new tire.

I've heard it countless times before, but you never know what this business will throw at you, and here's a shining example! On the other hand, I heard today about an intern who was once stuck overnight in Ionia County (a.k.a B.F.E.) so it could have been far worse!

Mock newscast is coming up tonight, more on that later, probably tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

2nd week

OK, so the daily part went out the window for a bit, but that's partly because there's been a good bit of excitement since then. Granted there's been some monotony mixed in as well, but that's not unreasonable either.

So let's go over what I've been doing over the past few days.

First, I got the chance to go out and represent the station at two meetings and put together two VO/SOTs for WOOD. Well, actually only one VO/SOT. The other story was dryer than the Gobi Desert, so it was turned into a VO. BARELY.

I did the writing for them as well, and they both went on largely without being changed by the producers, which was GREAT to see. I also got some firsthand experience at the second one, about how a story does NOT turn in to what you expect it to be.

I FINALLY got a chance to put together a package which I'll be able to bring with me to use in the future for a resumé tape. I used the VO/SOT I went to first (the good one) for the package. While I was out there, Dan Salas, the photog who was out with me shot a stand-up for me, which I used in the package. Now all I have to do is get name CGs in there. I hope to be able to add them in before I go, so they have the station's authentic CGs, but otherwise, I'll add them in myself. Wait, hold that thought, just got that question answered. I'll have the real thing in there tomorrow.

I also finally had the chance to go out on a live shot yesterday. The live truck which usually only holds two people was sent out to meet us after a report and photog and I had already left, so that's how we pulled that off. I got a chance to see a package get put together.

((Dear God, as I'm trying to write this the phones are ringing off the freakin' hook! Granted it IS primary day here in Michigan, but DAMN.))

And that's the biggest news from last week. THIS week promises to be even MORE interesting. I will be doing a mock newscast tomorrow night which promises to be a LOT of fun, and that will also be something I can take with me to use for a resumé. I thought that would be the highlight of the week, but I may have been wrong. I just today found out that I'll be our rep in Kalamazoo counting votes for the primaries tonight!

Anyway, that about brings you all back up to speed. I'll be reporting back in (no pun intended) later on tonight!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

4 and 5

So we're gonna combine these two since they were largely unremarkable. Not BAD, just unremarkable. Saturday I went out with Emily Zangaro on a story about an older lady who drove her friends to appointments, etc. wherever they needed to go. The hook? Her car was stolen and wrecked from the garage it was being repaired in. Not the best story, but it did have some emotion to it. This woman isn't exactly in peak shape herself, and still she's helping out her friends. I came back and then spent the time working in the newsroom for the rest of the night. I also went out again (had a little cabin fever) and went along to a VO, where a local party store-type-place was held up. That was about the stretch of Saturday.

Sunday was the first of my only two days off, but we don't care about that for the purposes of this blog.

Monday I was back, and spent another day that was generally uneventful, but still felt like I did some good work. I spent a lot of time at the assignment desk again, and also watched the production of the 5 PM show, and stood in on the 6 PM in the studio. In other news (no pun intended) one of the other interns for this semester started yesterday as well, so it was very cool getting to meet her, too.

The dry stuff's out of the way now, and here's why the rush: Watch for the next post, the good stuff's coming up!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Rest of Day 3

So anyway, day 3: where was I? Right...

I again went out with Patrick Center on a decidedly less sexy story, about (ready for this shocker?) Michigration! We went and spoke with three people, and got some really interesting angles on a not-so-interesting story.

1) We talked to a woman who's working on a construction company project here in Grand Rapids, and she told us about her concerns with the job market in Michigan. Her income was going down, and her expenses were going up, and none of it was her doing. She didn't want to leave Michigan but is seriously concerned that she may have to.

2) We talked to a woman who owns a hair salon in Belding (nice 45 minute drive there) who told us about her grandson. He grew up here in Michigan but was forced to move out of state to get a good job. He still has a job there, but said he felt like a traitor for leaving Michigan.

3) Lastly we talked to an economics professor at Grand Valley State University who gave us details on exactly what parts of the state are being affected, and where and why the population loss is occurring throughout the state.

Day 4 happened and caused the interruption in my last post, so I'm gonna pause here and take care of it in my next post.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Day 3: A new word is born

So day 3 at WOOD started off as normal with the morning news meeting, however, today, the one, the only, Susan Samples created a new word: Michigration. The best part? She didn't even mean to. We were doing a story about the large number of people who left Michigan over the past year, and when Susan attempted to say "Michigan emigration," it ended up as Michigration.

And just got a phone call about a story that's been going on... more about day 3 later!

((EDIT: Also, check out this link of another WOOD TV blogger about Michigration.))

Friday, January 4, 2008

Day 2

(continued from last post)

Day 2 ended up being even better than the first day. I went out on a story with Patrick Center about gas and electrical bills and what to do (and what people are doing) when their service is cut off. We went to the house of a woman who had her gas cut off, and she had a 7-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter who was mutliply-disabled with cerebral palsy. It was a sad story, but as cliche as it sounds, it was a great story, both for emotional value and as a testament to human spirit. (I really can't believe I said that, but it's entirely true.) I then came back and watched the process Patrick went through to write the story and put it together with his video. The day wrapped up with me watching the 6 pm news IN the studio, and then wrapped up the time with working the assignment desk.

Day 3 continues as I type, more to come later!

First Two Days

First thing first: When I said later tonight yesterday, I meant today! So this will be my first two days run into one.

First day was interesting. I started off transcribing a rolodex, but afterwards got to work on breaking news; a story about a 10-year-old accidentally shot in the face with a shotgun. Sad story, but it broke as I was wrapping up the Rolodex, so I got to spend some time working it with newsroom staff.

After that, I watched a show from inside the control room and got to see exactly how producers ran the show in a bigger station, which was a new experience. The County Line control room during a show kind of pales in comparison (not like this is a shock, but it IS worth noting.)

After the three shows from 5:00 to 6:30, I went back down to the newsroom and manned the assignment desk for an hour or so, and actually took down a few tips. The stories were never used, but it got me some experience in getting all the info I could for a story ahead of time.

That wrapped up day one for me! Day two is my next post.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Great Uber-Internship Day by Day!

Hey there everyone!

So it's been a while since I last blogged (if you haven't noticed) so here's the latest. Yesterday I began my crazy17-day long, full-time internship at WOOD TV8 in Grand Rapids. Each day that I'm here, I'll try to post something about what went on, what I'm learning etc. For those of you who want to be broadcasters, this will be the place for you. For those that aren't, you might still be interested.

First day's entry will be up later today!