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 “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 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-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