Ladies and Gentlemen, the week we have all be waiting for! (And by “we”, I mean “me”.) Reporter Week!
When it comes to working in news, reporting is a topic that constantly comes up in every department, so I was eager to go out and see what it’s like. My mentor for the week: WTVM Reporter Curtis McCloud.
The first assignment we went on was a live shot during a Board of Education meeting. Paul (the same Photog I worked with last week), Curtis, and I took the live van out to the Board of Education Building. The big item on the agenda: Whether or not to return all Muscogee Country Schools back to a traditional calendar–meaning no year-round schools. The vote passed. A reporter from Channel 3 was also there to get a live shot on the same story. For the first time, I was able to observe the competitive/cooperative dynamic that exists between reporters from different stations working on the same assignment. Their networks may be in competition, but when they are on location, there seems to be an understanding that they have to work together to an extent in order to get the job done.
The second day, I learned that as a reporter, you have to be prepared for anything when you arrive at the station. At first, I was wearing business attire, but Curtis had on jeans and sneakers. He told me we’re going to tour a construction site, and I had 10 minutes to run home, change, and meet him in the parking lot, ready to go. Good thing I live pretty close! I got back in exactly 10 minutes, and we headed out to the construction site of the new Martin Army Hospital on Fort Benning.
The media can never go onto the military post without supervision, so a Military Public Affairs escort met us at the gate and stayed with us the whole time. After getting suited-up in our hardhats, construction vests, and protective glasses, we went on an exclusive, inside tour of the construction site with Lt. Col. Ross Davidson, and the Project Executive from Turner Construction, Martin Miller. They’re working hard to create a low-stress environment for recovering patients. There are healing gardens, therapy pools, a giant water wall for ambience, and tons of giant windows for natural lighting.
Not only was I a part of the interviewing process, but the best part was being able to practice recording my own stand-up shots. I looked right into the camera, held the microphone up, and with my best news reporter voice, said, “The New Martin Army Hospital is expected to welcome its first patients in November of 2014. Reporting from Fort Benning, I’m Christina Kleehammer, WTVM News Leader 9.”
You can watch the final report on the new Martin Army Hospital here.