Shadow Shift Day 1 – Dayside Reporting

Mike doing his stand-up in Jeff City

Mike doing his stand-up in Jeff City

It’s 4:29pm and the KOMU 8 newsroom burbles with fits of jargon.
“If I just go SOT, live shot, SOT that’s okay, right?” a reporter shouts from a half-opened editing bay door to the producers fringing the table in the middle of the newsroom.  “No, really, is that cool?”
It’s cool.
As are most things in the newsroom, where the broadcast elves of Columbia, Mo bake the nightly goodness they broadcast to thousands of households across Mid-Missouri.
At the back of the newsroom monitors that look like they’ve been stretched northward display full-length web pages from NBC and other, not-to-be named affiliates in the area.  A digital projector tied to the web-island displays current story updates and video embeds on a cluttered whiteboard above the way-too-small critique HD monitor near reception.
Earlier today Stacey Woelfel offered advice and criticism for the B3 students who’ve just begun reporting for the NBC affiliate here in Columbia.  That was in the morning though,  insulated by hours from the frenzy now contained by the professionalism of all involved.
I’m shadowing day-side student reporter Mike Solakian, a junior in B3 from Branford, Connecticut, and the day’s so not over yet.  Mike’s currently locked in the first editing booth, next door to the shouting female reporter; his ice-blue dress shirted back framed by the doorway marked “Rod Gelatt” by a sign hanging high up near the ceiling.  None of that makes sense to me, but it is my first day.
UPDATE: You shan’t find anymore Shadow Shift Reports on this here weblog, per instructions from the big dude. Check the next post for some audio-visual goodies from my day in the field.
I’ll continue more with the slices of life commentary later, but, for now, I’m going to get to the questions and answers, and then later today post my pics and videos.  It was a great experience.

Shadow Shift Report

  • What are the most important things you’ve learned since you got to the station?

How to do everything the right way.  The entire system.  The vocabulary.  It sounds vague, but that’s the truth.

  • How do you get a graphic done for your story?

In iNews, pick the graphics tab, double click request, and you add a request to the production cue.  Make sure to indicate the show, add info to the notes section if it’s a picture or something.  The production people actually do it.  Pop-up…here are some diseases that I wanted to pop up in an old story.  Get it in by 3:30 for the 5, hour and half before other shows…the production staff will put it into a folder for you, which are organized by month, day, then your name as a folder.  In that folder, there are 30 second clips of your graphics and you just lay it right in your sequence on AVID.  Make sure to write to those graphics.  There are different commands you need to have in the left hand column of your script.  You need to let the producers know everytime you’re going to use a graphic.

When do you talk to your producers?

Producer’s call you to check up around noon, and to really ask tough questions when you haven’t checked in by 2pm.  Also, after you get back to the station, you ask the producer’s for a deadline to find out if you’re on the 5 or new at 6.  New at 6 is nice.

Other than that, if you have a problem, you talk to the producers.  If you need more time for the story, you can ask them as well.

  • How did you clear up a confusing story you’ve covered?

I haven’t.  I would by asking someone who’d be their opposition.  Often confusion results from only hearing one side of the story.

  • How do you check in your bin?

In Avid, there’s this thing that says “check in all bins” and you click it.  I’ll show you in a second.  It’s to make the footage accessible for those doing recuts.

  • What are the steps for using NRCS?

NRCS is when you’re in AVID, you go to it, you access the rundowns from iNews.  You go into tools, NRCS, login, find whatever show you’re looking for, if you have a package, just click the package, if you have a VO SOT VO, you drag both clips, which allows production to pull up the proper video.

  • What is subclipping and how do you do it?

When you have all your clips in AVID, basically you can prepare your clips from longer shots and label them and then drag them in for later inclusion.

What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you started reporting here?

Nothing I can think of.  In B2 you get a lot of support when you first get here, and you learn by doing.  I really haven’t had any moments where I thought “wow, I wished I’d known that.”  I really can’t think of anything.  Maybe shoot only one one card, because it makes things go quicker once you’re in the bay.


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