A day of broadcast news

The deadline was set: 3 pm. And our student production news was to start at 4 pm, on the dot. No compromise.

With a target of coming back to the school by 11:30 am, by 8:30 I was off doing my reporter duties. I have been under tight deadline before—in the school newsroom and a real newsroom. But here, I was into a completely new zone: the area of broadcast.

I’ve always been used to print, and I think I always will be. I think I’m more comfortable with words. But this doesn’t mean that I don’t want to take myself into the next level. So today’s exercise was a good way to challenge myself and meet the deadline, which fortunately I did.

It was a lot of stress. Lots of running up and down—from the tape room to the newsroom, back and forth, time and again. After I had my B-roll or footage into my drive, it was time to sit down and write the script.

In class last week, one of our professors mentioned that you should at least expect what answers you’d be expecting from your sources. And with this notion I had already finished half of my script last night. By the time I got back to the newsroom at 12:15 pm this afternoon, I didn’t have to worry that much about the script.

I made some changes and rewrite the script as I was capturing the footage from the tape. By the time it was done, my watch alarmed me of the time: only two more hours to go.

I was running up the staircase, bumping into people, of course, to make the best utility of every second I had there. Being someone who doesn’t really like to edit, and that too in final cut pro software, I knew two hours wouldn’t suffice.

And wait, I still had to do the voice over. Another reason to be running up and down—from the tape room to the newsroom.

By 2:30, I was almost half done but I just didn’t know if I could finish my 3. Then I just held one of my friends to my side to sort out my confusion, and finally my package was ready. Well, it wasn’t exactly at 3 pm though.

By the time I managed to convert my file into Quicktime and take it to the news gallery, it was 3:30. But I’m glad that it was 30 minutes before the newscast, and trust me 30 minutes is a long time, and in broadcast every second counts.

Four O’ clock and it as news hour and I was happy to have my story there. Well, there were some obvious technical glitches but so much for the effort I put into that, I just ignored them. I’m going to work on it later though.

But this is only my story. And it’s the end result that people usually see on TV. Trust me, there’s a whole lot going on, something that you never get to see on TV unless they have some reality TV show on broadcast news.

The news editors, the copy chief, the floor managers, the one at the teleprompter, the one who take care of the technical stuff…And if you though the pretty news presenter just had to look pretty and read the news, that’s wrong. They have to read the script time and again and again, and also really work hard to get it all right.

So that’s broadcast—so much different to what print is like. I feel its more challenging. It’s definitely a lot of multitasking. And it certainly requires a lot more effort (talking from my personal experience). And yes, a great teamwork and constant communication which makes the process rather easier.

And at the end of the day, when I see the outcome of my effort, a combination of words, audio and video, I think all the hard day’s work is definitely worth it.

It was in fact a totally new experience. It was fun. It was challenging. And I was able to get outside my love-for-print zone.

But do I really love broadcast?

I really don’t think so. But then again, I like proving myself wrong as well.

So until next time, it’s goodbye broadcast. But I shall see you soon.

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One thought on “A day of broadcast news

  1. A really good article Bibek! Congrats on getting everything done on time – makes me think that perhaps us print guys should stop complaining about doing “nothing” 😉

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