Wednesday, November 12, 2008

REPORTER BLOG: I Lugged that Camera for the Last Time

Carlyn Lynch

Athens MidDay is coming to a close. I think almost all of my classmates would back me in saying that it will be a relief not having to drag that heavy camera case and tripod all over Athens. I had broken blood vessels all over my shoulders after my camera and I followed a college tour all over campus. I am very thankful for my godsend of a roommate who got up with me at 8am some mornings to drive the camera case and me to the RTV building.

I feel better now that I've vented about the camera case, so I can say some nice things. MidDay is such great preparation for real world newsroom jobs. I have been able to report, write stories, produce graphics, edit video, work on the web; all under a daily deadline. Not many schools produce a live daily newscast, and although we've had our share of technical difficulties, we put on a pretty good show.

Everyone actually works together really well. The high pressure environment is great practice for learning how to work well with others when you're stressed out. Putting out a newscast is definitely a team effort and it's really rewarding when you put a good show together.

The things I value most in my life are my relationships with other people. I have been very fortunate to make some good friends in this class. Even the people I didn't really get close to I have a lot of respect for and have learned from almost everyone I work with.

I haven't had a single negative interaction with anyone. I am normally the kind of person who prefers to work by myself, but I have loved working in T.V./Web reporting teams. It was really nice having a second brain to come up with ideas for stand-ups or ask interview questions that I didn't think to ask.

Throughout the quarter I have been able to fine tune my reporting and editing skills. It wasn't until the last time that I worked as video editor that I felt completely comfortable matching video to the scripts, making sure I had enough pad and timing the SOTs and voice over exactly.

I am able to produce packages much quicker and my mind works much differently than it did at the beginning of the quarter. I am much better at writing to video, asking the right questions, and constructing my scripts. It has been a lot of work, but I feel like I have developed a skill set that is useful for a career in broadcast and life in general.

There is a lot about television news that I really love. I still get excited when I'm in the control room or getting ready for a live shot. I love telling peoples' stories and talking to them about the things they care about. I am a believer in good journalism in a time when a lot of the world has lost faith in the product.

The most frustrating thing for me about working in television is the rapid-fire package turnover. I would like to do more long form work. Sometimes you feel like you're telling stories that aren't really newsworthy or you don't have enough time to tell the really good stories thoroughly.

This class has made me realize that I need to find my niche. I would like to use the skills I've developed to work in a more creative or focused communications outlet. There are a lot of different ways I could go. I know that the communications/journalism field is where I belong but I'm not sure which avenue within the field I would find most fulfilling.

I'm not ready to commit to broadcast news and I want to keep learning new skills while I'm still in college and have the ability to continue my education. Because of this, I have decided to do the Carr Van Anda program in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, which will allow me to graduate with a more comprehensive journalism degree including broadcasting, online journalism, and public relations. I'm hoping that this will make me more versatile and allow me to find my place in this career field.

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