A while ago, I was given the opportunity to attend what was called the 'TV Industry Night' at my university. It was for students who had performed well and created interesting and newsworthy news stories in the 'Television and Video Journalism' course. It was such an awesome opportunity not only because it meant I was being recognised for my hard work, but because it meant I got to meet directors and editors of some of the big channels in South Australia. Being able to talk to these journalists, get feedback and hear what they had to say about my news story as well as others was so valuable.
When I first started studying journalism as part of my double degree, I wasn't sure how I'd feel dabbling in specialisations such as radio and TV journalism. I knew I loved writing, so the traditional newspaper journalism was the direction I wanted to head in. However, I have been very thankful for the exposure to these others forms of journalism. Radio journalism was interesting, although I found it quite challenging as it was not my preferred way or writing, speaking or doing pretty much anything regarding journalism. Having felt a little flat about my experience in it, I wasn't looking forward to TV journalism at all. That was before the first day of the course.
The first day for me was a lecture, which gave an overview on what the class was expected to achieve and the assignments. It also gave an introduction into the art of journalism and why we had to learn not only how to cover news stories via the visual broadcast medium, but how to use and film adeptly with professional cameras. Learning all about the techniques, the names of the shots and the way a recording could be edited in so many ways was amazing, and it made me wonder why I hadn't considered studying Film and Media.
I watch a lot of news reports every day since hearing, watching and reading the news has always been a favoured pass time of mine (other than reading and writing of course). Because of this interest of mine, I really wanted to create something interesting to look at and something that would get my tutors attention... particularly after I heard about TV Industry Night.
What we were told was that the night was a time to stand out, an evening to rub shoulders with news directors and to build a good impression of yourself as a way to tempt them to offer you a position. There were also prizes: Best news bulletin, best film & edit of a news story, and best news story. Each had a $500 reward, which was enough to make me work especially hard to produce the best news story I could. The classes were split into groups of four and each person was supposed to help with the production of each news story (one person to help film, one person to help with audio, one person to be the reporter, etc.). However, most people did their work independently, using their time in groups to think collaboratively to achieve the most unique stories.
I had done mine on cycling in South Australia. With summer on its way and the Tour Down Under fast approaching at the time, it seemed like a good opportunity to go support the sport that South Aussies tend to do so well at. The pictures would be good, with lots of colour and beautiful imagery to engage the audience, and the sounds of the crowds cheering at a local race and the ringing of the bell would make for great natsounds (natural sounds) and upsots (sounds that emphasise the image). My PTC (piece to camera) was placed in front of the finish line, with the riders speeding past behind me as I confidently said my piece. I felt comfortable that what I had filmed and later edited would make its way into TV Industry Night and hopefully be awarded.
I was right on one front. I was given the opportunity to attend the evening, which involved free food and drink (always a bonus). I had also been given the opportunity to be a co-host bulletin reader for my group, which was a very fun experience and gave me the chance to show off my face more to the news directors. Anything to get their attention, right?
It was amazing to see all the different news stories. The uniqueness of each piece and the way they were edited was so different with each story. As you may have realised by now, stories of any kind interest me in a multitude of ways and seeing people both young and old igniting their own stories and creating some amazing journalistic pieces was fantastic.
When it came to my groups bulletin and feedback time, I was petrified. I knew I had produced a well-crafted and edited news story but I was worried it would not be of interest to the news directors. However, the feedback I received was very positive, and the constructive criticism was short but insightful. After the bulletins had been watched, the schmoozing was done and the news directors had decided on the winners of the prizes, it was time for the award ceremony.
Unfortunately, I did not win any of the three. However, after seeing the different bulletins it was not a surprise. I was inspired by some of the stories I had seen and really enjoyed the range and difference between them all. Some of the subjects I would not have even thought of covering and the feedback I received was enough of an award for me.
Before you ask, no I was not offered a job at any of the news channels! However, as much as I enjoyed most aspects of TV journalism, I liked the editing of the stories more than the recording and interviewing process with such a huge camera. I absolutely loved the night and the stories I was exposed to, but I think I'll stick to writing!
Charlotte is a reading and writing lover who has completed a creative writing intensive course at the University of Oxford and is a current university student studying a double degree in journalism and creative writing. If you are curious to learn more, check out the 'About' page.