Week 9: Spring break allows for full immersion

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Week 9 was my spring break, but I was determined not to let it go to waste. A major part of the WAVY internship program is the wide-ranging experiences in different departments around the station. Having been laser-focused on shadowing reporters for the first half of my internship, I knew it was time to start making my way around the station to get the full operational picture.

On Monday, I headed to the Promotions department, which I knew very little about coming in. Our Creative Services Director, Kristen Joyal Pinto, was kind enough to accommodate me, first sitting me down with Eric Pyburn. Eric showed me how the log works, which is basically a big template for all the commercial breaks on the various channels we operate. Ideally, most of the log is filled by the sales department with paid commercial advertisements. In the unsold slots, promotions puts the time to good use – advertising and promoting the station’s brand and community-focused work.

Kristen then showed me how she selects stories to promote each day, and the spots are then turned by Mark Burnett. I watched Mark write a promo, then helped with some of the copy on the next one. Then, Mark and I headed to the editing bay to put it together. I hadn’t thought about the importance of promotion for gaining and keeping viewers – but it’s an undoubtedly crucial part of what makes WAVY operate so well.

On Tuesday, I sat down with Bob Bennett, producer of the 6 pm newscast. This was a huge learning experience, and it helped me understand the technical structure of broadcast news. From ordering graphics, to writing scripts, producers are the clearly the backbone of the newscast. The next day I sat down with Taylor O’Bier at the web desk to see how the WAVY social media accounts and websites are operated.

Thursday arrived, and I was able to join my fellow intern Khadijah as she carried out her duties on The Hampton Roads Show. This was a huge change of pace from the newsroom where we’re used to having the same people on camera, but on THRS, it’s a different group of guests every day. It’s a challenging job, but it’s also a multi-faceted job with different subject matter everyday, with a satisfying result felt by all when taping is complete. After the show, I moved over to the production office and got a taste of the technical input and expertise involved. The camera operator, Craig, let me sit alongside in the studio for the midday show and explained how the robotic cameras work. I left with an extreme sense of appreciation for the group of people outside of the newsroom itself who make the show happene every day.

On Friday I returned to reporter row, where I joined Chris Horne for a fascinating political story. A local candidate for Congress had posted a video to her Facebook in which she sawed the  barrel off an AR-15 rifle. She was immediately met with a strong online reaction, much of which centered on the potential illegality of her modifications to the rifle. Chris spoke to a local attorney, as well as one of the candidates competing against her. I wrote a script, and returned on Monday to put the package together. Here it is:

WAVY reporter/anchor Marielena Balouris gathers footage.

Last but not least, on Saturday I came in to learn about news photography with WAVY reporter/anchor Marielena Balouris, who was kind enough to show me the basic strategies for camerawork out in the field. Coming from print, photography has not been my forte, but with the gracious help of the kind folks at WAVY, I feel confident that I can improve at capturing newsworthy moments in the most compelling way possible.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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