Monthly Archives: April 2012

Welcome to my thoughts…

It has been one year since the devastating tornado that changed the landscape of Tuscaloosa and the hearts of all its residents forever.  It is remarkable to think about how much has changed in only one year.  My prayers and my thoughts are with those who lost loved ones on the tragic day of April 27, 2011.  We will never forget.

With that being said, the newsroom is more laid back than usual today.  All the scripts for today were written well in advance, in preparation of today’s coverage of the one year anniversary of the tornado.  It is on days like this that I count my blessings…

So, I’m sitting here, answering phones.  I decided to make use of my time and list a few story ideas.  Consider this my rough draft of story ideas.  WARNING: there are probably a lot of incomplete sentences because I think in incomplete sentences.  If you do not approve of this, please do not read the following list 🙂

1. Exercising helps to boost mental concentration in addition to providing health benefits/Source: Doctor and Psychologist/Shots: Feet running on a treadmill, an over the shoulder shot of someone taking a test, a doctor checking the heartbeat of a patient/Tease: Coming up on the news at ten…We all know that exercising is good for you, but does it boost or reduce your mental concentration?

2. Unusually fast typing speeds can greatly improve your chances of getting a job/Source: Professor from the Computer Science Department at UA and a business that is offering jobs to fast typists (an active interview with the employer showing the test procedure administered in job interview would be interesting)/Shots:  Typing fingers on a keyboard, an employer interviewing a potential employee, letters being typed on a screen/Tease: With unemployment on the rise, it’s good to know one job still has openings…under one condition.  More to come on the news at ten.

3. With gel polish becoming more popular, it is important to note the proper removal of it.  Beware of salon owners who remove it incorrectly; it can permanently damage the nail. /Source: Salon owner who knows how to properly remove the gel polish and an unhappy customer that went to the wrong salon (be sure not to name any salon…be sure not to turn into an advertisement of “Come to this salon because they remove it properly!”…keep it informational)/Shots: The gel polish being painted on someone’s nails, fingers soaking in the acetone solution, a finished hand and fingernails with gel polish on them, a lady paying the salon owner/Tease: Gel polish is a new trend, but the experts have some tips to lend.  Coming up on the news at 10 we’ll let you know what to beware of in the salon.



The Top Five

So, today wrapped up TCF 332.  I decided to make a list of the top 5 things I learned in TCF 332 that I never want to forget.  Of course, I learned a LOT more things than 5, but I wanted to choose the ones that I considered the most applicable.

  1. Sound bites should mean something or convey some type of emotion that the reporter cannot convey.
  2. Learn how to be a one man band.  Learn how to write, report, shoot, and edit in order to be marketable in the competitive broadcast industry.
  3. Always have a list of story ideas with you.  Because of this, I’ve started a list that I plan on keeping for a while.  I am constantly adding things to this list.  Hopefully it will eventually pay off!!
  4. Be willing to start at the bottom, and I mean BOTTOM, of the totem pole.  Your first job might not be a glorious one, but keep pushing harder and harder, and you might get lucky.
  5. Constantly try to network.  This industry has a lot to do with who you know.  Remember: who you know can get you the job; what you know can keep you the job.

It has been a fun semester, and I look forward to applying the above lessons and more to my future classses and career. cb

My lips are sealed…

In both Media Law class and in TCF 332 this semester, we have discussed the topic of anonymity and how important it is in our industry.  I was reading an article that was featured on RTDNA called Why Anonymity Matters.  It went right along with what we have discussed in Media Law.  It has been mentioned that the media’s reliability has declined over the years…meaning that many times a source is compromised for the benefit of the media.  We have discussed the lawsuits that can arise in these situations, such as Breach of Contract or Promissory Estoppel.  Many times a reporter will serve jail time in order to protect a source and in order to keep their word, but many reporters will also compromise the identity of the source to avoid jail time or to publish a better story.  The following quote is an excerpt from the article, Why Anonymity Matters.

And we have long moved past an era in which we put that much trust in journalists, even of an institution as respected as the Times.

We have many reporters and institutions to blame for this decline in trust.  Cohen v. Cowles Media Company is a perfect example of bad judgement on the institution’s part.  Because of cases like this that bring down our reputation as media, it is important that we act as responsible reporters and remain ethical in every aspect of the broadcast/journalism industry. cb

Happy Elmer

I’m at WVUA today. Just a second ago, I answered the phone. The person on the other end asked for Sports, and I asked who was speaking. For privacy purposes, let’s say his name was Elmer*.  I sent the call to Sports but asked them if they’d rather me take a message. I learned seconds later that Elmer calls ALL the time just to chat. So, it was to my surprise when I heard someone in Sports talking to Elmer. They spoke for a few minutes.

Keep in mind this was right before the 6:00 news. I decided that the Sports staff was simply trying to cater to the viewers and to serve the public – even though it was an inconvenient hour. I know for a fact that Elmer was happy when he hung up the phone. With that being the overall goal for radio and television (pleasing the audience), I will keep this situation in mind for future reference. *names in this story have been changed. cb

Tips of the Trade

For a class assignment recently, we had to email someone involved in Radio or Television…within the news sector.  So, of course, I emailed Blaine Wilson from WAAO Radio & Television based out of my hometown: Andalusia, AL.

We only had to submit ten.  But Blaine emailed me about 50 tips!  I thought maybe I should share my favorite ones in the blog.  So, for those of you (who are bored enough to be reading my lonesome blog) who MIGHT be interested in reporting hard news on radio or television, these tips might be helpful:

-To be in this business one must dedicate their entire life to serving their community, their fellow man/woman, their audience.

-If you took this job for the money… made the wrong choice!

-Your computer has spell check…..USE IT!

-Always pre-read your news before going to air. NEVER mis-pronounce a word or name LIVE on the air. The quickest way to lose your credibility with your audience is to show your disconnect by not understanding your audience and the community you serve.

-If you’re not always thinking 3 minutes ahead…’re already behind!

-One of the first and most important things new reporters and on-air talent must learn BEFORE going to air is local geography and local politics. You do whatever you have to do to learn your community as quickly as possible. Sure, you don’t have to, but you’ll be fortunate to be employed if you don’t.

-Ask the questions the people want answered. Know the truth and don’t stop until it is exposed. Leave them to decide for themselves. Your job is done. Move on to the next job. REPEAT Process.

-You’re tired? So what….everyone here is as well! Now, do your job and stop complaining…..and smile….you’re on camera!

-Go to sleep with a change of clothes beside your bed. Never power-off your telephone. Keep fully-charged batteries and A/V capture cards ready to work. Keep gasoline in your tank. Don’t get ready…….BE READY!


Spell it right!

I just got a really good laugh.  I’m sitting here at WVUA, killing time on Google.  Occasionally, I Google myself to make sure I have a decent online presence; I have heard this is important to have with my major.  So, after I Googled myself, I decided to Google my boyfriend…just for kicks.  Up popped a story about him that happened back in March 2010.  He and his father were fishing in Destin, FL when they rescued three young boys from the water.  My boyfriend’s Dad, Herman*, is a banker.  Below is an excerpt from the internet story:

Herman* said he’s always liked stories about small decisions making big differences. This week, he has one of his own.

Tuesday, he went to Destin to take his son Arnold* and some friends fishing in the Gulf. The boys had been at the helm and had had no luck finding fish.

“I thought we were too close in,” the Andalusia baker said. So he took over and took the boat out farther, looking for cobia.

“We were about a mile offshore,” Herman said. “I saw some splashing and thought it was fish or a porpoise.”

The thought of him wearing a chef’s hat and being a baker makes me laugh!  Oh how spell check is important!  Haha. *Names in this story have been changed. cb

Winding down…

Well 4/20 is living up to its name…it’s definitely a chill day in the newsroom. I have answered the phone a total of two times in a period of an hour.  So, I decided to blog a little bit.  I think I’m about to join RTDNA.  I’ve taken a look at the membership benefits; I’m a lookin’…and I’m a likin’.  I might be interested in going to the Excellence in Journalism Conference in September, so I’m definitely going to look a little bit more into it! cb