This week began a new chapter. Monday was my first official day at WTVM. While I was only there for 3 hours, there was much to observe. They weren’t exactly sure what to do with me yet so I stayed in the background and tried to become acclimated to the environment. One of the first things that I noticed was the police radio playing in the background. There was nothing really interesting being said and nobody seemed to be paying attention to it. The assignment desk supervisor said that if anything interesting happens, someone will usually catch it. The phone rang and the assignment desk supervisor picked it up. It was an angry mother. She was upset about an incident that had happened at the mall with her daughter who had supposedly broken their dress code and was arrested. She was willing to drive all the way from South Carolina to come and talk to the media about it. Of course, there is always 3 sides to a story; both parties and then the truth. After some investigation, it was determined that this story was not worth pursuing. I observed that everyone in the news room becomes involved in every story. While each reporter has their particular assignments, they all collaborate with one another and are all aware of the stories being done.
Wednesday I was able to see this first hand. I spent the entire day with one of the lovely reporters, Mackenzie Zaragoza, in the field. She put together 2 packages that day, which means she was responsible for 2 stories. One was about how high school students can beat the stress of applying to colleges. The other was about 2 Phenix City Councilmen that recently got elected. On the latter story, she had a hard time getting contact information for the candidates. When she asked for help from other news team members, they were more than happy to get contact information for her. Eventually, we were able to track down one of them and spent the majority of the day looking for the other with no avail. Luckily, we were able to get a statement from one of the voters which completed the package or story. After driving around town for the majority of the morning and beginning of the afternoon, we headed back to the station. It was editing time! Mackenzie was clicking away and editing like a pro. I definitely need some practice! When she was almost finished with both packages, she gets a call from the candidate that we couldn’t get in touch with! She decided to do a phone interview with him and at the last minute had to find a way to work it in to her segment.
At no point that day did we get a lunch break. Mackenzie said that she always brings her lunch and either eats on the go or eats at her computer. This job is a crazy one with extremely short deadlines and little notice, but there is never a dull moment! Until next time Columbus, I’m Corinne Fisher with WTVM, News Leader 9….. (Haha! Maybe someday…)