In the business of local broadcasting people are always moving in and out of the station. Curtis McCloud is one reporter who just left and has moved to Richmond, VA. I am very excited for him, but he is the guy who has been showing me the ropes and helping me with my personal reporter reel. In the meantime I have been editing footage to continue with my ultimate goal. Also, I have been able to sit with the producers and gain and understanding of what they do and the program they use for the shows. Since Curtis has left the station I will be placed with Roslyn Giles, who I was with last year and she is a great reporter that I admire. I know she will be a great mentor and I look forward to being with her throughout the rest of my time at the station.
Last weekend Curtis McCloud and I went out to take some stand up shots to build my resume reel. It was a long day, however I was able to learn proper techniques for a reporter that is interested in this field. I brought a change of clothes and made up different scenarios, so that I would have variety of things to add to my reel. I was also able to write the scripts of what I wanted to say. I am in the process of continuing to edit and perfect my reel so that I can apply as an entry reporter to different places. I have been receiving some encouragement and constructive criticism as I continue to pursue the goal and dream of news journalist. I am looking forward to the final product!
A local woman in Columbus Ga, wrote into WTVM to inform the public about a fraudulent check she received in the mall from a job search she did on Craig’s List. Curtis and I went to her home to interview her about what happened. She was very sweet and welcomed us in with open arms. This woman had been out of work for a few months and all the while she had been searching for a job. She has profiles with all the job search engines that alert to when a new job has been posted. She definitely had been feeling down about finding a job and she was very excited when she was contacted for a specific job. However she was not expecting to receive a check for about 2,000 dollars in the mail with instructions on what to do with that money. She knew then that this was not a legitimate job and she was very disappointed. The letter that was sent to her was done in an unprofessional manner and it was clear that is was fraudulent. Her main concern was to tell others about this scam so they would not be victims to such horrible things.
For we all have made accounts through search engines to assist us in finding jobs and sometimes we give out important information online with hopes of discovering a job. We never think about how people are out there preying on those individuals who vigilantly seek a job. I am so glad this local woman recognized the letter was unprofessional and that the check was a major fraud. She gave us the inside scope about her experience which really brought awareness to her and her family. We were glad to be able to cover her story because it gave the opportunity to save so many others from this ridiculous scam. It was a pleasure speaking with her in her home and now I know that people will scam any website to take advantage of others. Curtis took a great perspective in representing her story and his technique of displaying the letter and check definitely left a real touch in his package for that story. So the next time I connect to the internet I will be cognizant of the information and websites I use.
There is never a dull moment when you have the job of a reporter. Curtis had just got done covering a story and then he was informed there was a car accident on Steam Mill Road. As Curtis, his skillful photographer, and I headed to Steam Mill Road I noticed how focused he got because he wanted to make sure he would deliver the most precise news to the public. As we get there the police have the street blocked off towards the area of the accident so we parked further down and walked on the scene. As we walked up I noticed the whole neighborhood was standing outside to see what happened and also to understand what was going on. Many of the surrounding neighbors were asking us how the accident occurred and we were trying to get to the bottom of cause.
The car itself was completely flipped over and it had knocked down the street signs and also some bricks as well. We could tell that it was just a one car accident but we did not know how it flipped over. Neighbors told us they heard a very loud booming noise which caused them to run outside to see what was going on. Shortly after we arrived the ambulance took the man to the hospital and then the towing truck came to dispose of the beat up car. There is no doubt that this was a tragic accident and people on the scene said he had suffered from a broken leg and other injuries as well. This car accident was truly an unfortunate one and I was saddened to see how badly the car was flipped over.
I really couldn’t get that image out of my head but I was hoping that the young man in the accident would be alright. We got some video and pictures of the scene and then we left to get back to the station to work on both stories Curtis covered for that day. Three days later the young man that was in that car accident dies from the trauma of the accident. I know his family is devastated by their lost and I know he will truly be missed. No matter what the issue may be I have learned that as a reporter you have to hold it together even in the most tragic situations. I applaud Curtis for always being a bulwark of news as he performs his job.
It was a humid night when Curtis was informed about woman being in a car accident. This woman name was Martha Hardeman and we were about to unfold what actually happened to her. So once again we were on the verge of breaking news so we loaded up the live truck and we went to the scene of the accident. As we arrived on that cloudy night I could tell that this woman was in bad shape and it was later determined she had been dead for 8-10 hours. She was lying next to her car in her front driveway while police and investigators were trying to determine what caused her death. As we were attempting to discover what really happened Curtis was getting prepped to go live in a few minutes. The details were vague in the beginning because we knew she was an elderly lady who lived by herself and her car rolled over on her. Curtis had to get this news out to the public so he streamed back live with the few details he did know while we were on the scene. He definitely handled that well and eventually we got more concrete information about the woman.
I got the chance to speak with her neighbor and she told me she had arrived home at about 6:30pm when she noticed that the elderly woman’s car lights were on but she assumed she was going to turn them off. Then about an hour and a half later it was brought to her attention that her lights were still on so she decided to go walk across to check on her neighbor. Her grandkids walked with her but when she noticed a shoe in the front yard she told her grandkids to stay back. She began to walk up the driveway and that is when she found her neighbor lying there under her car, so she immediately called the police.
This was such a tragic accident and it saddened me to see this happen to someone. Neighbors said she was very nice and I found out she played the piano for her church as well. She thought her car was in park when she got out but it wasn’t and it rolled over on her. She was 73 years old and I know she will truly be missed by her family. Curtis got the chance to reveal this poignant information to the public with grace and this also makes people become more aware of their own safety while driving or parking. This story showed me that no matter what the story may be one must always keep their composure to serve as an emissary for the public and a true reporter to the people of the community.
There are so many great opportunities that the Communication Department of Columbus State University offers to their students. I truly believe that interning is the best opportunity students can take advantage of because it allows the students to gain real experience in a positive environment. I am very honored to be an intern at WTVM which is the number one Newsleader of Columbus, Georgia. I also have the privilege of shadowing Veteran Reporter Curtis McCloud during the course of my internship. Curtis McCloud is definitely a virtuoso of reporting and the broadcasting arena as well. As I have began to become a part of the team for the course of the summer, I realize that there is never a dull moment in the newsroom. Because there is always a story to cover or research to be conducted in order to present information to the public.
For example, everyday the team meets to discuss the what is going on in the local area and in the world. These meetings are vital because it informs every one of their positions and topics in the broadcasting of the news later that day. After the meeting is concluded, then the real fun begins. Last week Curtis and I got to go live at a stand-off on Victory Drive where a man held a woman hostage and threatened to kill her. He was running away from a few misdemeanors in Macon and he also missed his probation and he decided to flee to Motel 6 on Victory Drive. He later released the woman and then requested for his wife to come see him or he would resort to killing himself. So about an hour later his wife showed up and they talked for quite some time and then he finally came out with his hands up surrendering himself over to the Columbus Police Department. The most pivotal thing I took from this situation is that when you are reporting, you must be prepared for the worst.
We could not tape from the crime scene of course, but just imagine standing in the medium of Victory Drive with the sweltering heat beaming down trying to get information from the police department. It was very intense and then later Curtis McCloud was the only reporter there who went live at 5 during all the commotion of running back and forth in the middle of a busy four lane street. After that occurred we rushed back over to get a statement from Columbus Police Chief and I got the opportunity to actually tape his statement which was such an exciting experience. This story stirred up a lot of attention in the Columbus Area and I felt proud to have been behind the scenes to see how it all unfolds in the world of a reporter.
Following that we went back to the station and I got to observe Curtis compile a package together for this particular story. This is one of my favorite things to watch because that is the time in which a reporter has unfettered freedom to project a story in a creative way. WTVM uses a system called ENPS which allows them to present the information to the public via newscast for the shows that are aired live. ENPS is an editing system that allows one to maneuver footage and sound in a way that becomes the stories and coverage viewers watch daily. I have began to learn how to use this system and I must say it is a great tool to have. I really am enjoying every moment at WTVM and to be under such wonderful tutelage is definitely showing me the important things I need to know about the business.