Monday, September 6, 2010

Week Recap (8/30 - 9/3)

I like the idea of having a Weekly Recap of all the stories I covered and a little musing about each of them. I've been getting pretty tired after work and haven't had the energy or drive to write a blog each day with the latest stories. Doing something at the end of the week might just be the solution...

With that, here's the review from August 30 - September 3.

I travelled 45 minutes through Grants Pass to the 3 Rivers School District. The District announced that their state-given funds were $2 million dollars less than the budget they had set for the school year. They had already made $2 million dollars worth of cuts and were now facing another huge set of reductions during the school year including cutting salaries, benefits, or cutting school days.
I planned on talking with the Superintendent, then visiting a school to find a teacher who was preparing for the first day of classes (Sept. 7). I went to a few schools, but no teachers were there. They weren't required to be there until the next day. After some phone calls, I realized I couldn't get an on-camera interview with the Union Rep. I would have to settle for a MOS (man-on-street) sound bite to complete the package. While it gives an interesting perspective, I prefer to stay away from MOS because it's a little bit of a cop out. I want to get the facts and the info from people who are credible in the story. Anyone can have an opinion, but having facts and experience is priceless.
Fortunately, I found someone who had children in the district (the 3 Rivers District is the smaller of two districts in Grants Pass) who wanted to talk. It was about 2:50 when I got back on the road and headed back to the station. That's a way late time. Fortunately, I got some help and was able to turn my stories for the show.

Wildlife Images is a non-profit that takes in abandoned or injured animals found on public land. There is no other place these animals can go. For several years, WI has been planning and constructing a new exhibit called Critter Creek. I was able to go out and do a story on the project.
It's funny how the stories get selected. This story was proposed and fought for by our Assignment Editor, Charlotte. She was able to convince our Asst. News Director to run the "cute and furry animal story." If it wasn't for her soft spot for otters, I would have had a different story.
I'd done a story at WI in the past and met the Executive Director of the program. He was very personable, helpful, energetic. I called up on my way up to the shelter, he dropped everything he was doing to meet with me, do an interview, and show me around. Great guy.
Because this was the day Obama gave the address from the Oval Office, our 5:00 show was cancelled and we were given only story. So we had half of a normal workload and an extra hour to complete it. Needless to say, it was a great day.

After the 6:00 show I headed out to a breaking news story, a home on fire in Central Point.

Firstly, how did September get here so quickly? Can it go back to summer?
I did a folo (TV shorttalk for a Follow-Up) on the house fire from the day before. The Public Information Officer was incredibly helpful. He walked me through the fire crews' standard procedures and even helped me on my other story for the day.
After some digging and talking with County officials, the story that I had read in the newspaper about the raised fees was a bit one-sided. Yes, fees were going up about 50% or thousands of dollars, but this was for only the biggest construction projects, multimillion dollar housing developments. An extra $1900 would be a drop in the bucket for them.

Once again I was called out for breaking news. The story I was orginially chasing turned out to be nothing, but I got the scoop on another story: A high speed car chase involving a stolen car, spike stripes, the car driving through a middle school, and ending in a foot chase. For all the details, check out the second half of this post on the breaking news.

I was able to go up to the firelines with crews at the Oak Flat Fire and get some shots of smokes and helicopters. Finally.
I was very happy to finally be able to get to the money shots of smoke after spending half a dozen days at the Incident Command Post and taking videos of maps, tents, and smoke from behind a mountain ten miles away.
I chronicled the entire experience in this blog post from last week.

Jacksonville is a small town with a quiant downtown area. It's about 15 minutes from Medford and is getting ready to have its 150th Anniversary Celebration in two weeks. Leading up to that big Jubilee, the city is hosting several festivals and fairs. Businesses in the downtown area are hoping that visitors who come in for those events also make their way downtown and spend a little money in the shops and restaurants.
In the 5:00 show, I had a vosot live in Jacksonville. Thought I was nervous, I felt pretty good about I did in the live shot. I'm getting more confident in my live remote shots. Being out in the field makes me more comfortable than being in the studio, in front of the greenscreen with half a dozen other reporters, anchors, or production people around. Don't know why it is, but I like the remote shots a bit better.

Friday Night Blitz
The Friday Night Blitz is Newswatch 12's most popular show. On Friday nights after about 10 minutes of news, the sports team takes over and shows highlights from the high school football games in the area. How do they get highlights? Reporters, producers, production crew, and whoever volunteers go out to assigned games and shoots highlights. After a little bit of time, we hightail it back to the station to get our video cut and short script (called a shot sheet) written. We're the only station that does anything like this and it's a big effort to get it all done, but it looks real good and is a lot of fun.
I'll write a longer post about this soon...but in the mean time you can >check out the show here.

...And that was my week!

1 comment:

  1. Friday Night Blitz is fun! I feel like I know more about Oregon high school football than I ever needed to know. Haha. :)