Natalie-WTVM Practice Makes Perfect

This weekend, I did a lot of writing. I worked with a WTVM Producer and news reporter. I was introduced to the wire which holds WTVM’s associated press releases updated frequently.

I was able to go through a long list of associated press releases and choose news specifically for the Georgia area and use it as a form of practice.
Ms. Dionne also let me write an introduction to her news segment.
Basically, the introduction is what the news anchor reads to introduce Ms. Dionne. It’s absolutely fabulous to have hands-on experience that becomes reality before your eyes.

The introduction I worked on dealt with Small Business Saturday. Basically I had to come up with a creative way to talk about Small Business Saturday…that would be interesting and appealing to the audience.

Needless to say what I wrote was decent, but practice does make perfect, so I will continue to practice to one day reach perfect. Ms. Dionne took what I wrote and showed me how to make it better and more relevant.

My Intro: During the Nation’s biggest shopping weekend… Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity to support your local retailers…Its a time when shopping small is a BIG way to contribute to your local community…

My Intro Perfected: The Nation’s biggest shopping weekend is well underway…And right now many are shopping small to give back in a BIG way. News Leader 9’s Brittany Dionne hit the stores for a fun day of shopping.

Natalie-WTVM-Time is Ticking

This weekend was interesting, it started off with attending the Funeral of Reverend Flakes, a well-known Pastor of the Columbus, Georgia area.

Coverage for Reverend Flakes funeral was very important, in fact we were in a hurry to arrive and get inside coverage as well as live coverage outside. We waited approximately 4 hours for the funeral to end.

Many Prominent members of the community were there such as the Mayor of Columbus, Georgia and Seale, Alabama, the Congressman and so on.  Hundreds of people lined up outside waiting to get in.

Today was my first time witnessing first hand the process of producing a live shot. The reporter had her laptop so that she could edit and prepare her package as well.

We also visited the local Salvation Army, where local organizations had prepared hot meals for the homeless. It was an early Thanksgiving celebration. We interviewed homeless people who were very happy and thankful for the meal. The Mason and Eastern Star organization expressed that they were happy to give and provide meals for the underserved of Columbus, Georgia.

One thing that has been made very clear to me during this internship, is that reporters have a lot of work to accomplish in very few hours.

Natalie-WTVM-Weekend Fun.

I met Ms. Dionne at Recorders court, where she allowed me to set up the tripod and camera. She explained to me the information she was there to gather; the witnesses did not show up-court was postponed until Tuesday. We still recorded footage to report on the evening news.

We then went to the Habitat for Humanity to cover the yard sale. I observed Ms. Dionne conduct interviews of the Director and a consumer. We took B-roll and we recorded natural sound (NAT’s).  After we left the Habitat for Humanity center we went to the Holy Family church to cover the memorial for Mr. Richard Halford-the policeman who died in a helicopter crash while searching for a young man in Atlanta. Ms. Dionne conducted an interview with the family and also recorded B-roll.

With each event and each step Ms. Dionne taught me the importance of camera angles, questions, natural sounds and bringing energy to the interview. After we left the memorial we went to the police station to look at the police reports for aggravated assault and other interesting news-which led us to a local residence to record B-roll of where an assault and break-in took place. There were two young men who verified the story, but did not want to be on camera.

We then went to Gorilla Guitars to interview and record B-roll for the Re-string food drive. At this event Ms. Dionne let me set up the camera, record natural sound, and begin the interview process, of course I am not as good as she is and she stepped in to assist me with questions and the different shots needed to make the interview successful. We then went back to the station where, Ms. Dionne gave me a homework assignment to write voice-overs and sound on tape for each story and she will review when I return.

Until next time, think on this…”The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” ~ JimmyScott Hamilton

Natalie-WTVM “Sweeps”

Sweeps is a term used to describe television ratings.

What are “sweeps”?  Sweeps are time periods when television stations/networks typically schedule programming designed to attract a larger than usual audience

Why?  Sweep period programming is designed to attract larger audiences who in turn are exposed to advertising commercial messages. Thus, when the ratings for the sweeps period are revealed, the TV station/network can charge its advertisers more money because more people watched.

When do sweeps occur?  Typically four times a year: the months of February, May, July and November. You can find additional information concerning sweeps at

Mr. McCould a News reporter at WTVM Channel 9 is working on featuring and highlighting local artists and their perspective concerning the impact of social media with their music. While Ms. Brittany Dionne attended Recorders court, I learned about the importance of sweeps.

Untill Next time think on this….Failures are made only by those who fail to dare, not by those who dare to fail. ~Lester B. Pearson

Natalie-WTVM News Leader Channel 9

I have nothing but GREAT things to report about WTVM channel 9. 1st lesson I learned this past Friday is always come compared for anything! I arrived dressed in business casual clothing, but Video Journalist Brittany Dionne’s story by the Chattahoochee River called for rubber boots. Needless to say the lesson learned is always bring a change of clothes and shoes. 
Brittany was also dressed in business casual but she like a true professional was prepared with rubber boots in her trunk.

 Area students and local volunteers were preparing the Chattahoochee River for the up and coming white water course. They found some interesting treasures while cleaning, and reported they were proud to be assisting in something great. After recording interviews and shooting B-roll it was time to return to the station to produce the package for the evening news.
 Brittany gave me the opportunity to write several introductions for the News anchors that would be introducing her segment. I typed them up; it was harder than I thought it would be. News Anchors and Reporter always aim to speak simple language that is easily understandable yet compelling. The compelling part was the hardest part. Brittany reviewed and actually used some of what typed. Which was awesome. She is definitely an expert and expressed that practice makes perfect.After writing introductions and voice overs. I observed Brittany editing her video-preparing the final package for the 6:00pm segment. Its a lot of work,  and time consuming. If you can see the photo well enough, you can see the two screens. One holds the video and the other is the  editing system used by WTVM. This system creates beautiful well put together news segment. 

Finally we go the sound room, where Brittany records her voice overs. She states “track 123,” before and in between each new statement. The producer gives her approximately 1 minute and 30 seconds to present her package. Brittany assured me its fine if the time is below 1 minute and 30 seconds, and that it is necessary to ask for permission if it goes over. Until next time think about this…. 

The mind is like a clock that is constantly running down. It has to be wound up daily with good thoughts.” ~ 
Fulton J. Sheen

Natalie-WTVM Channel 9 Passion Ignited…

My first full day at WTVM Channel 9 began Friday at 10 am and ended at 6pm. It went by so fast and did not feel like work at all. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I had the opportunity to listen in on the morning meeting.  After the meeting, I was introduced to Brittany, the Video Journalist I would be shadowing for the duration of my internship. Brittany had a few stories she was working on, which led us to visit a man’s house in Phenix City, Alabama. Brittany allowed me to record her interview. I did not get a chance to record very much, because the man mentioned that he did not want to be on television . So I had to turn off the camera. All of this was so exciting for me.  We went a few other places to get different perspectives of the story, and then went back to the newsroom where Brittany began editing and preparing her package, which is another word for story. I was able to go into the sound room with her while she recorded her voice-overs. I also watched her present the news live for her segment of the show concerning the news she had gathered and prepared that morning. 

Saturday morning we had to be at the station at 6:30 a.m. to prepare for covering the return of Soldiers from Afghanistan. We met the Fort Benning Public Affairs Officer at the front gate along with other news affiliates. We then convoyed to the site where the Soldiers would return and where eager families were waiting to see their Soldiers. There was so much positive energy and excitement in the air. This unit returned home with zero deaths. This was a serious event for Brittany and I was able to see first hand her professionalism, assertiveness and drive to do her very best to get a story her audience could identify and connect with. Brittany is shorter than I am, and I was practically running to keep up with her on several occasions. With all of this going on and the importance of getting her story, Brittany was still cognitive of the fact of me being with her and ensured that she was teaching me and giving me guidance every step of the way. After this event we went to another event.

The Annual Buddy walk, where Brittany allowed me to record the entire event. I taped interviews, and B-roll during this event. It is great getting hands-on training from an expert. We then went back to the news station where she taught me how to pick out the important personal part of the story, and I became familiar with EDIUS the software used at WTVM to enter packages voice-overs and sound on tape.  Overall I had a fabulous experience. What I love most about the profession is the opportunity to meet new people everyday. There never seems to be a dull redundant moment.

Until next time keep this in mind… “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” ~ Henry Ford

Natalie – WTVM – Moving Forward

Application is complete, and we are scheduled to visit the WTVM channel 9 Station Tuesday October 2, 2012. So EXCITED!!!

Hopefully my next blog will specifically detail my internship experience!!!

This past weekend we had the opportunity to get more practice in with the use of the camera for a video project. We covered the Animal Ark adoption process. We had the opportunity to witness a puppy get adopted to a new home.  Awesome experience!, News Leader 9 - Columbus, GA

Until next time keep this in mind…Think positively and masterfully, with confidence and faith, and life becomes more secure, more fraught with action, richer in achievement and experience.
~Eddie Rickenbacker

Natalie-WTVM-Curiosity Kills or Educates the Cat?

Are you familiar with the old proverb “Curiosity Killed the Cat?”  The phrase has often been used as preventive measure to protect curious minds from danger.

Often time a news reporter’s curiosity is essential and educational.   A curious nature is good in the sense that it illustrates a desire to know and learn. We discussed in Video production that a good story depends on knowing the who, what, when, where, and why. Most news reporters are tasked with the responsibilities of following leads, asking the right questions and getting the necessary facts to support the story. They use an effective information gathering method widely known as the five Ws. This process allows the reporter to get the complete story. The five Ws answer the following questions:

  • Who is it about?
  • What happened?
  • When did it take place?
  • Where did it take place?
  • Why did it happen?

 Examine the  story covered below by WTVM channel 9 and answer the five Ws.

Vehicle fire burns down Fort Mitchell family’s house

Posted:// Sep 24, 2012 12:16 AM EDT

Updated:// Sep 24, 2012 10:21 AM EDT

By Dante Renzulli

A Russell County family’s house was destroyed by fire and Monday morning they are waiting to find out what their future will be.

The fire began in the garage of a home in the 100 block of Bradley Road, Fort Mitchell. Shay Robinson said her Chevrolet Suburban caught fire inside, sparking the flames that would eventually consume the entire house. Robinson and her husband lived there with three children, ages 13, 8 and 4.

They moved to Alabama from Fort Drumm, New York when her husband, Marlin, was transferred to Fort Benning two years ago.

The family was unable to save anything from inside and right now, they are homeless.

Copyright 2012 WTVM. All rights reserved.

Did you find them?

  • Who is it about?  Shay Robinson, her husband and three children, ages 13, 8 and 4.
  • What happened?  The family’s house was destroyed by fire.
  • When did it take place? Sep 23 09:27pm
  • Where did it take place?  In the garage of their home. The 100 block of Bradley Road, Fort Mitchell, Alabama.
  • Why did it happen?  Their Chevrolet Suburban caught fire inside, sparking the flames that  eventually consumed the entire house.

To be successful in getting a complete story, it is very important to utilize the five Ws research gathering technique. Until next time keep this in mind…Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” ~Winston Churchill

Natalie – Video Production – Practice Makes Perfect…

Still waiting to begin my internship with WTVM channel 9, BUT  while I wait… I am receiving the  necessary camera skill practice to help me be successful once I start!

This past week in Video Production, taught by Professor Hart, we dove into hands-on training with the camera. We worked in small groups on interviews focusing on the B-Roll technique of capturing good quality alternative shots. B-Roll film allows a camera person to capture extra/additional footage, which is used in editing and also to complement the overall content of the film.

During this past summer, I had the opportunity to intern with The Columbus Times Newspaper. It was a great learning experience overall. My first day on the job, the owner asked me if  I owned a camera. He explained that I needed it for taking photos during events. At the time my photos were taken on my high-speed cell phone. As you can imagine, my cell phone camera was  not professional enough for the intern experience, so I purchased a Cannon camera recommended by the owner. It was a great investment; the camera takes great photos.

Although my camera is not equipped with a HDV video recorder, I was able to record on it when needed. I often used the recorder when events I attended included a lot of speaking. I would record portions of  the speakers speech as  a reference to look back on.

The newspaper  and television broadcasting business are similar in that as an intern working for The Columbus Times, I was expected to attend events, interview, write articles, take and upload my own pictures.  Reporters are expected to do the same thing. In the past it had been sufficient to use a team of at least two people, the camera person and reporter. This is no longer the popular or effective way to do business. I witnessed during my event coverage, there were reporters present, setting up their own cameras, interviewing and recording the event or spokesperson.  As a person seeking a job as a reporter, it is not only important that you are able to speak and write well, but it is also very important to know how to work the camera.

Finally, as we all know by now, social media is very important and a must have skill. Not only are reporters required to be familiar with social networks such as Twitter,  and Facebook, they are also often required to have current, updated pages reflecting their stories, interviews, and event coverage. The News and Content Manager for WTVM Channel 9 mentioned that the social outlets such as Twitter and Facebook give the reader a  snippet,  redirects the viewer and  allows them to get full content on their WTVM webpage.

Until next time keep this in mind…”Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” ~Napoleon Hill

Dreams Do Come True…

As as veteran of the United States Army, I am filled with joy to express the fact that I have finally stopped “collecting transcripts.”  I am a SENIOR…YAY!!!! on a rewarding journey toward graduation; earning a Communication degree that has provided experience specifically geared toward Mass Media Production.

LETS BE HONEST… when I first applied to Columbus State University in 2010. I was very, to say the least, disappointed. Initially for me, the Communication Department did not offer a Mass Media track. I was totally looking forward to working with cameras-behind them and in front of them. I was extremely excited about finally concentrating on working with media production.

Being as my family is living in Columbus, Georgia by way of the military, Columbus State University was my best and only choice. So you can only  imagine my past disappointment and my current  THANKFULNESS & EXCITEMENT. I owe my gratitude to the vision and fortitude of Dr. Gibson and other Communication Department staff. It is great to witness the continued pursuit of excellence, growth, and the advancement of community partnerships with our Communication Department. I can now graduate fully equipped and satisfied. Thank you.

We had the opportunity to meet and greet with management of the WTVM channel 9 news station. Internship is around the corner!!!! There is nothing better than hands on experience. I look forward to communicating my journey and experiences during my intern tenure at WTVM channel 9 news station. Until next time keep this in mind… Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake-Henry David Thoreau