Picking my emphasis area in the journalism school was quite the ordeal (I’ve finally settled on News Editing … I think), but to be honest, I never considered any of the broadcast emphases.
Part of it was because of the process itself. Sure, I acted in high school, but after a few on-camera classes and workshops, I decided I’d stick to the stage. Experiences running lights, sound and spotlight for musical productions made me realize I didn’t want to spend an additional 30-plus years doing that, especially not in a studio. And as a native Atlantan, I’ve toured the CNN Center several times and figured out that’s not my cup of tea.
As much as I hate to say it, the other part was the image of broadcast journalists that print journalists often promote: you know, the one based on the stupid things Jon Stewart makes fun of broadcast journalists for saying, the mistakes they’ve made on live TV in front of millions of viewers, the mediocre human interest stories that appear in news broadcasts if nothing else newsworthy went on that day. Having worked in only print newsrooms and having primarily gathered my broadcast news from clips on “The Daily Show,” I didn’t appreciate (or, I admit, quite understand) broadcast news.
I’m glad to say my perspective has changed in the last few months. I worked as a copy editor for Newsy for a month this summer, and though my job was to edit text, I learned a lot about video in the process. Newsy is different than most news outlets in that it produces multi-source news analyses of current events in video format. It’s neither a broadcast news outlet nor a news aggregator, and it takes from both print and multimedia sources.
Most people I worked were in broadcast journalism, and between watching them and watching the video creation process itself, I gained a lot of respect for broadcast journalists. Sure, copy on broadcast news outlets’ websites might not follow AP style to a T, but all things considered, that’s more of a minor issue for their news outlets than it is for a print publication. Broadcast journalists have a lot to be concerned with. They have to research and compile stories quickly, then set up for the shot, which means making sure lighting, camera angle and sound are in check. Then, the anchors have to make sure they’re saying everything in the correct order and with correct punctuation, the latter being a frequent problem for me. Then, after that’s all said and done, someone has to compile the video, editing the footage and making sure the sound is consistent throughout, as well as checking for mistakes in content. Everyone worked so hard, especially when breaking news hit. The intensity in the newsroom the morning of the Aurora shooting is something I’ll never forget.
Working with video cameras in Multimedia this semester has given me an even greater appreciation of the people behind the scenes. I’ve never worked with a video camera, so the concept of a TV-news style video is new to me. I learned a lot of things I should and shouldn’t do when I created my short 30-second video that will be useful as I work on my TV-news style video. I’ve been reviewing the instructions for the TV-style news video, and watching KOMU’s Sarah Hill and her “Sarah Stories” in Monday’s lecture also helped me get a better idea of the assignment. I know it will be challenging for me as a print journalist, but I think I can learn a lot from the experience that can help me in the future when I edit. I’m up for the challenge.