This two-week period has been filled with yet even more knowledge and experience from my internship with WAVY.
Learning from the Promotions department about how the station advertises and markets itself was pretty fascinating considering they have to adapt to each and every newscast (which varies from day to day.) A whole new arsenal of acronyms came along with “Promotions day,” from TSR’s to PoP’s. One of the most interesting things to come out of the session was the fact that viewers typically spend up to six seconds deciding whether or not their attention has been grabbed or not. Definitely good to know.
Also during this period came the opportunity to sit-in on the Hampton Roads show production. Learning the fact that it isn’t live was a mind-blowing revelation; it’s really quite convincing! I was able to witness Kerri and Chris masterfully interact with the audience, special guests and each other mostly without the need of a teleprompter (speaking of teleprompter, I was surprised to learn that some portions of the show incorporate it while other portions are purely ad-libbed). The feel of the show was fun and light and casual; quite the contrast to the rigidity of pure newscasts. On the other side of things, learning about how the show is planned months and months in advance and how sponsorships work was fascinating. From paid “snipes” to community-driven audience member selection, an intense amount of thought is put into every second of the Hampton Roads Show.
On the Production department front, I have grown very comfortable with teleprompting the evening newscasts as well as initial studio set-up. I hope to get more time with learning how to direct and operate cameras in the coming weeks, though. Directing, in particular, seems like it will take some time to truly grasp.
In a somewhat unrelated tangent of tragedy, a gunman stormed and assaulted a newspaper agency in Annapolis, Maryland on Thursday (July 29, for posterity’s sake). It was undoubtedly a national event as every major and minor news outlet was spending some time reporting on it. Being in the WAVY control room for the evening news was quite the experience as everyone involved was doing their best to keep up with the latest that was occurring while simultaneously maintaining a steady newscast. It was particularly prominent (at least to me) given the fact that I/we can mostly identify as journalists. I have been in the control room during breaking news before, but this time it felt more real and urgent. It was exciting and also slightly frightening.
Perhaps this is on the cold side, but my thoughts do not really go out to the victims’ families and loved ones – they probably couldn’t care less about my thoughts. My thoughts go out to hoping this never occurs again. But in all reality, that’s just naive.