This week was the week leading up to the Fourth of July so half the stories in every broadcast had something to do with parades, celebrations, fireworks, etc. I went in on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.
July 2: While most of the morning meeting was focused on Fourth of July and different stories we could tell about it, I ended up working with Lili on a story about strawberry fields and the issues currently arising with the “Strawberry Breeding Battle” in San Luis Obispo county. New varieties are needed every 7 or 8 years for strawberry growers to stay a float. SLO county has always gotten their varieties from researchers up at UC Davis. But with recent threats of those researchers moving, and taking their patents with them, local growers could be in trouble. We headed all the way out to Santa Maria to talk to a local grower Darren Gee about struggles he may be facing. He was eclectic and fun to talk to. He took us through some of his crops and had a real passion for strawberries. Lili focused on getting a lot of good B-roll by getting off the tripod and moving through the crops with them. She got down on and got on the level of the crops to make the story as visual as she could.
Meanwhile, Cal Poly is starting a strawberry sustainability program so we headed to campus to see what the Agriculture College is working on and what progress they’ve made. We talked to the Communications Director because most of the students who were knowledgeable about the program are home for the summer. She was as helpful as she could be but wasn’t really a great source for the story. Lili got the best quote she could from it and just used the Cal Poly angle to help localize the story I think.
Then we headed back to the studio and logged the interviews. We talked about SOTs she was going to use and how she was planning on putting the video together.
Here is a link to the final package: Strawberry Breeding Battle
I headed home around 3:30 that day.
July 3: Today I showed up again at 9am with intentions of staying in the studio and learning about the producing process. The 6 o’clock producer, Katie Ferber, let me stick with her and help her all day. She told me about how she spends the first half of the day organizing the show and pulling stories from NBC (KSBY is a NBC affiliate) to help fill the hour. She makes a skeleton of the show including how long she thinks the stories reporters are working on will be so she can figure out if she has enough content to fill the day. It seems like a very stressful job.
Then she waits for people to turn in stories and packages and adds them to the rundown. She is in charge of writing all the VO’s, some VOSOTs, many times she writes the tosses and tags to packages, so she ends up filling out a lot of content herself throughout the day. This is what I helped a lot with today. I wrote a lot of stories about the Fourth of July activities taking place along the central coast as well as a story about a local girl scout troop’s donation, local youth baseball talent, and an annual hot dog eating contest in NYC. After I write them she would look at the and edit them and then drop them in the newscast. Seeing her edits and changes was a great learning experience to help me become a better writer. I am also pretty slow at writing stories so I need practice getting faster and efficient if I ever want to be a producer.
Here are links to the final stories I helped write for the news cast posted on the website:
While going out in the field is a lot of fun, I felt like a contributed a lot more work while helping Katie that day. I headed home around 3 that day.
Until next week….
(P.S- you may have noticed I skipped week 2… I was on vacation in Mexico and did not intern at all that week but am making up the hours sporadically throughout the internship program)