As a journalism student, today I had to turn in my first story for my reporting class. For those of you who are unaware, my reporting class is not just a class, we actually produce a news show. Thankfully our first story got to be for practice and so it wasn’t aired today. Although I must say, I’m pretty proud of how my story turned out.
This particular adventure really starts on Wednesday at 12:45 at the story meeting.
CUE: Wednesday, classroom, 12:45, me prepared with two stories to pitch.
CUE PROF CURTIS: Who has to run to a 1 o’clock class?
CUE: My hand raising
CUE PROF CURTIS: Alright Jocelyn, Let’s start with you.
CUE: Dry mouth, sweaty palms, butterflies fluttering around knots in stomach…
Story 1: TSA has released new guidelines for children so that they won’t have to take off their shoes and they won’t get patted down as often.
CUE PROF CURTIS: Yeah TSA isn’t going to talk to you.
Story 2: A new study just came out that said that certain shows are bad for a child’s brain so I…
CUE PROF CURTIS: I like Spongebob. Alright who’s next?
(Just to clarify, the study was based on kids reactions after watching SpongeBob, my teacher doesn’t have tourettes or anything.)
And that was that.
CUE: Sitting down in my 1 o’clock Russian class to take my first 200 level Russian exam
CUE: Me unable to hold back tears (of nervousness?? Frustration??)
CUE: Me determining that college and a degree is useless and I should drop out….Until
CUE CHRIS WORDS OF WISDOM: Babe, all you have to do is make it through today, then we can look at our options.
And from that I was off to get my interviews and B Roll for my story.
My first stop was Dr. Clyde Robinson’s office. Dr. Robinson is a professor of child development and was kind enough to not only interview with me, but he made a powerpoint just for me to explain the specific effects of fast paced cartoons on a child’s brain.
The goal for a good story is to have two interviews. I had one now, and no idea where to get the other one. The plan was to do my stand up ( part of the story where I am on camera giving a fact) at a park. So me and my wonderful advanced reporter, who was helping through this crazy ordeal, went off to pioneer park and hoped that maybe I could get one of my neighbors to interview with me.
CUE: Driving down the street to pioneer park.
CUE: Cute family playing in their front yard.
CUE: Me creepin on said cute family.
“Hey Sarah, how awkward would it be for me to just ask this random family for an interview??”
CUE SARAH: Doo ittt!
CUE: I become all professional and whatnot
“Excuse me. Hi, my name is Jocelyn Langford, I’m a reporter for BYU 11News. (So legit) I’m doing a story on the effects that some cartoons have on children’s brains. Would you mind if I interviewed you?”
CUE: Nicest lady in the whole world agreeing to let us interview her, film her children playing, and film them watching TV inside her house.
And off to the park we go. Naturally once we get out of the car it starts to rain. But that doesn’t stop us. We head straight to the playground to get a great stand up and even got some footage of kids playing.
CUE: Back to the newsroom, 7:45 PM, ingesting my video onto the computer and learning how to use Avid.
CUE: Back at home, 11:30PM, sitting in bed working on my script while Chris is asleep.
CUE: Back in the newsroom, 6:30AM, Script still not done.
The 8 o’ clock story meeting verified that I was doing a straight package (anchor lead, voice overs, interviews, stand up, and anchor tag, a total of 1min 20 second tops).
My script was certainly a work in progress and Sarah was helping me fine tune it. When we got to a point that I was sure it was my best script writing I ran to the assignment desk to get Brother Curtis to approve it so I could record my voice overs. I made it to the assignment desk at 8:40AM in hopes of making my 8:45 script deadline.
CUE PROF CURTIS: I really think you need to reorganize the order of your story. Make it more about the family so people can relate and less about the hard facts of the study.
Back to the drawing board.
Take 2: 9:20AM
CUE PROF CURTIS: Let’s change this random word and add some flowery language and rephrase this and make your story much longer than it needs to be so that you have to go back and edit it down later mwahahaha (I’m just ad libbing here)
“Jocelyn this last sentence needs some work. You are just repeating what you have already said.”
Take 75: 9:30AM
CUE PROF CURTIS: (Interrupted for 5 min by phone call) Alright Jocelyn this looks good, let me just approve it and…WAIT…your story is a minute and 36 seconds…thats way to long. You need to go cut it.
Take 478: 9:40AM
CUE PROF CURTIS: (Helping another student for a year and a half)
CUE MY MIND: Thinking of every 4 letter word I know (lard, boat, park, flop, turn…what kind of 4 letter words were you thinking???)
CUE PROF CURTIS: Well I still think this last line is too repetitive but you need to go get to work so you can get done on time so I’ll approve it.
CUE MY MIND: freaking lard boat park flop turn!!!!! Crap I’m gonna cry…no I’m too mad…nope I’m tearing up..NO! I’m boatin’ mad!
After that, due to my awesome recording abilities and my mad fast editing skills I made my 10:45 ‘Everything has to be done now’ deadline, and went to work on the radio version of my story.
Too bad I didn’t actually remember how to do the radio version. Thankfully the nice little radio man made it there by noon when the show was pretend airing.
CUE: More parkin’ complications saving my sound bytes.
But it all paid off. I got an email at around 4:18 PM that said
“We are using your story for the 4:30 newscast for Classical 89”
CUE: angels singing.
Well Someone liked my story apparently. Sure it was on a Provo only radio station where they only play classical music but I’m sure someone heard it..
Well decide for yourself. Here is my story that pretend aired. But don’t judge. I’m still learning. Oh and on top of the interview imagine one of those little bars that tells the person’s name and occupation (mother, professor, reporter, etc.)