Tag Archives: newsroom

Hey Journalism… I’m Ready

30 Aug

Summer internship at Global BC: ✔

Professional headshots: ✔

I’m ready, right? That’s all I need in order to become a hard-hitting, professional journalist… right? Well, maybe I need to add this:

Career in journalism: Work in Progress.


I finished up at Global BC last week and over the past few days, I’ve been mulling over how to conclude my experience in this last blog post. I’ll begin with my last day.

It was a day that began with good-byes right from the start; as I walked in at 8am, I said good-bye to Tony who works the overnight security shift. Always a pleasant face to greet me in the mornings as I sometimes stumbled in half-asleep.

As the day continued on, more people filtered in for their shifts and this meant more good-byes. Yes, that includes the infamous Nikki who was kind enough to be my first guinea pig for the sake of this blog.

Later, I had a nice chat with the man who allowed me to be an intern in the newsroom in the first place and got some great feedback. Our conversation really pushed me to pursue journalism more seriously and soon after, I signed up for several journalism classes for the fall, including a broadcast presentation class (victory!).

(I say this because my program is Radio and Television Arts which has a strong focus on technical skills and producing. These classes will focus more so on writing the journalistic way!).

I was actually surprised at how sad I really was to conclude my experience there. Working in a newsroom may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but I really took a liking to it. For the first time, I think I’ve found an environment that really suits my personality. I like the constant change and the hustle that springs into action when breaking news occurs. I like that I’ve honed in on my news-detecting skills (and this is thanks to, in part, to the many callers who called in with their stories). I like the team effort that occurs just to make a story happen; from the assignment editor to the reporter to the camera person to the editor and finally to the production crew. It’s all quite fascinating to observe.

At first, during my internship, I felt I needed to be doing more. For those first 6 weeks, I was basically spending the majority of my time observing the action around me. Occasionally, someone would see my unfamiliar face and strike up a conversation, but for the most part, I was an observer. This truly was a test of my patience, but now I totally understand why this was a necessity. There is just so much that goes on in such a large newsroom. I needed that time just to understand the process and see where I could fit in to help.

Eventually, I got into my groove and by the end of it, I was busy for the majority of my days. From helping reporters do background research to setting up interviews to taking phone calls from all across B.C., I was given more and more responsibility. And by the end, I really felt in the right place.

I must say, as well, the anchors and reporters really are as nice as they appear to be during their broadcasts.

So as I close this chapter and begin the next, I fully intend to be back in that newsroom one day. Whether it’s next summer as I reprise my role as an intern or even eventually working as a reporter, the intention is there. For now, I will go off to school and learn important things like sentence structure and verb tenses and the inverted pyramid. I will try my hand at radio through an internship in Toronto and I will continue to learn at school.

With all this in motion, I’m pretty sure I can only get better.

For now, so long, farewell and hope to see you next summer.

-britney

Let’s keep in touch on Twitter@BritDarma

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Oh Hello There, 2:15AM

25 Aug

Have you seen the above video of Wesla Wong‘s sleepy puppy? It’s only got 45,000+ hits so it may be worth checking out (…if you’re prepared to handle an overload of cuteness).

Anyway, sleepy Jasmine is kind of how I feel today and probably how the whole Morning Team feels in general.

For months now, I’ve heard about their sleeping patterns; a 4 hour snooze and then work. And then a 4 hour nap after work. And so on. Others choose to go to sleep at 8pm and then awake at 3:30am the next morning.

It sounds like a draining cycle, but today I dared myself to try it out. Just so I could relate to their jobs that much more. Hey, I’m only here for 1 more day so why not try to immerse myself fully into the atmosphere?

Ok. Well in actuality, I had to set my alarm at 2:15am this morning to awake for online class enrollment. I am back to Toronto next week, after all, and school commences the following week.

For whatever reason, my school decided to open enrollment at 5:30am EST so for me on the West Coast, that meant quite the rude awakening. After 4 hours of sleep, my alarm told me to get  up, turn on my computer and prepare for the bloody battle that is online course enrollment.

I obeyed and sadly, lost the battle I was prepared to fight. I really didn’t get into any classes I was hoping to so that means I can look forward to 2 weeks of constantly checking my schedule to score those spots! Woohoo – bring on the fun!

…Does this post even make sense anymore? Brain fried. Typing…slowing…down… Hey, this morning I was so tired, I was staring at a picture of David Hasselhoff during my entire 1.5hour commute and could not – for the life of me – recall his name until I tweeted about a Baywatch star named Dustin Hoffman.

SoI tried to fall back asleep at 3:15am, but really… sleep did not happen. It was 2 hours of half-asleep/half-awake, tossing and turning, kind of dreaming, but really just thinking…? sleep.

So my whole point is — today, I felt like I could relate to the Morning Team more than ever. And Jasmine. I tried talking to people this morning on numerous occasions and I was actually having trouble stringing a proper sentence together. I can only imagine feeling this tired and having to think on my feet while LIVE ON AIR. Huge kudos to Tanya Beja, Steve Darling, Lynn Colliar, Wesla Wong, Mark Madryga, Sophie Lui, Kristi Gordon and of course, the entire production crew and newsroom crew. Those are certainly some talented people.

I hear everyone on the Morning Team usually goes through somewhat of an initiation period and eventually, they get used to the routine. As for me, I’m patting myself on the back for making it through today. Luckily, I was kept busy (with stories you can watch tonight on the News Hour) and therefore time flew and I’m only feeling the magnitude of my tiredness at the end of the day. (Bonus: just learned “tiredness” is an actual word).

Tomorrow is my last day of my internship here at Global. My aim is to end on a highly journalistic and professional note with a post that eloquently summarizes my experience over the past few months. 8 hours of sleep… here I come.

-britney

Let’s keep in touch on Twitter@BritDarma

World Wide Wesla Wong

29 Jul

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out Weather and Traffic Gal Wesla Wong‘s blog (www.weslawong.com). She gives a behind-the-scenes look at her job and the Global newsroom during the morning and noon show.

Here is a sample of Wesla’s stealthy work:

And this is just entertaining. A look at what Mark Madryga does when the weather doesn’t go exactly as predicted…

-britney

Let’s keep in touch on Twitter@BritDarma

Weekend News

27 Jul

For the second time, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing the newsroom on a weekend.

Generally, there are much fewer people working and the “newsroom buzz” is a few decibels lower than normal. There are the same usual suspects scattered throughout the room – the producers, the writers, the production team members, the editors, the anchors and reporters – just fewer than on weekdays.

Because there are less bodies, this affords me the opportunity to lend an extra helping hand where possible. During this past weekend, this meant assisting the weekend producer with some breaking news from Powell Lake where a float plane flipped forward in the water and everyone onboard survived.

This was of particular interest since similar stories that have been reported lately involved the passengers dying.

So the news broke right before the Saturday evening show and I was able to contact a witness from a nearby restaurant who then emailed a photo to my phone. We were able to get it on air in time.

When I arrived bright and early at the newsroom on Sunday morning, the weekend producer asked me to help her figure out a travel plan for a reporter and shooter to get to Powell Lake ASAP.

As you can see, it’s not the closest destination to travel to, shoot the story and then get back to the newsroom in time to edit for the 6pm show. After looking at ferry schedules, it was decided that a charter float plane would be the best option.

After a few quick calls, we were able to secure a float plane for the day to transport the reporter and cameraperson (…is it politically incorrect these days to say “cameraman”?) to Lake Powell and back.

Throughout the day, we kept tabs on the two adventurers and their story updates. While they were traveling, I worked on finding more witnesses that may have seen the incident.

When they made it back to the newsroom (in time and after plenty of hustle), we found out that they actually interviewed some members of a nearby softball team who helped fish the shocked passengers and pilot out of the water.

So without further ado, here is the story ladies and gentlemen.

-britney

Let’s keep in touch on Twitter@BritDarma

Let’s Throw it Over to…

23 Jul

Hanging around the Global newsroom for the last two months, I’ve had the opportunity to do lots of watching.

Watching the news. Watching the production teams. Watching the control room. Watching the camera guys. And especially watching the anchors and reporters.

Their ability to articulate and tell a story so smoothly and conversationally is something I have especially been taking note of. Sometimes they have teleprompters, sometimes not. Sometimes there are small trip-ups or mics decide to stop working. And while all this is happening live, I’ve been able to see how they handle the unexpected and still keep their cool.

The reason I’m so curious? Not only is it fascinating to see this in person, but it is apparent why these people are employed as reporters and anchors. Professionalism, improvisation, personality, articulation, charisma… all qualities that not everyone possesses, but necessities to succeed in this job.

I was recently looking at my first RUtv News show as an anchor. When we shot that, I was essentially just winging it. I had my lines memorized (no teleprompters for us at that time), but I had yet to really practice the subtle nuances and inflexions that can make a huge difference in the delivery.

Already, I feel like I have much to improve upon. I am now eager to test my theory of broadcasting osmosis. Will their skills find a way to permeate into my own brain? I look forward to finding out.

-britney

Let’s keep in touch on Twitter@BritDarma

Productivity at its Best

14 Jul

Today, as an intern at Global TV, I felt legitimately productive for almost the entire day.

This is a great thing and it has taken me several weeks to reach this point.

Some days are slower than others here in the newsroom. Reporters may not need any help with their stories. The phone may not ring with callers bringing me their news tips. These are the days I read all the newspapers through and through and surf the web looking for local news stories… on Facebook and Twitter too, of course.

But this day was different. After settling in as I normally would, I received a phone call from reporter/anchor Anne Drewa. She needed some research done for a story ASAP. Basically she was working on a story regarding a Chinese herb theft in Richmond. She needed to find a Chinese herbalist who could speak on camera about the value of these herbs.

Understood. Easy enough task. I was eventually able to connect her with a herbalist who was free to speak. Yay, that productive hour felt good.

My phone soon rang again. After a lengthy discussion with a caller, I proceeded to do some preliminary research into their claim and passed the information along to the newsdesk. This happened several times throughout the day.

You know, it’s funny. I know I had a productive day because time just flew by. As I try to recall all the events that occupied my time, it doesn’t sound like a whole lot. Sure, there were various conversations throughout the day that occurred (journalists and those who work in the newsroom in general are very smart people, for the record). As well, an opportunity to work here this weekend came up, too.

So while it may not sound like a whole lot right here on digital paper, just know that I came away from the newsroom today a very happy, satisfied Global TV intern.

-britney

Let’s keep in touch on Twitter@BritDarma

Out in the Field…with Ted Field

9 Jul

Today began as any other day at the Global TV BC newsroom.

I arrived somewhat promptly at 8:01am, sat at my temporary desk with my steeping David’s Tea and began to scour the local newspapers. I watched Steve Darling host the Morning News show by himself since Lynn was away. He and Dana Gee talked movies. She recommended “Despicable Me.” So far, her movie reviews have been on par with my own. Though I haven’t seen too many Pixar films, I’ll trust her on this one.

Around 9am, the morning show team surfaced. Emma, the director, taught me about tumblr. She also answered my daily questions about life at 3:30am (the time her alarm makes noises to wake her up). It still makes little sense to me, but somebody has to keep the news world turning.

Around 11am, I left the newsroom with reporter Ted Field and cameraman Pat Bell. We went to the World Trade Centre near Canada Place to film Finance Minister Colin Hansen give a statement regarding the Olympic budget ($600M projected budget actually turned into $925M — explain that one, please).

Then, we met NDP leader Carole James in Gastown. She gave her response to the Olympic budget — in short, the Liberals should have been honest about the cost.

Lastly, we went to the VANOC Headquarters to chat with the CFO who said they should have enough coin to pay the outstanding bills.

All throughout the day, Ted and Pat dispensed pearls of wisdom. Ted is actually an instructor at BCIT and Pat has traveled the world extensively. Both very interesting guys to talk to who can recall news stories from years ago at the drop of a hat. They are like walking and talking libraries. I’m sure they must make the average person feel quite uninformed and ignorant. And by “average person” I mean myself.

But this does not deter me. I know I am young and naive, and I am ok with that. I have much to learn and going out with Ted Field “in the field” is one way to go about becoming an informed journalist-to-be.

-britney

Let’s keep in touch on Twitter@BritDarma