9 Tips For The Beginning Broadcast Student With No Background

9 Tips For The Beginning Broadcast Student With No Background

These are just some of the things I wish I knew a month ago.

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A little over a month ago, I began my semester of what's called "super semester," which is essentially a simulation of working in a real-life television studio.

In this time, I've learned SO MANY things. Some of them were refreshers, but a lot of it was all new to me. As a journalism student, up to this point, I've only studied the writing side. I can write you a whole story on almost anything, but getting footage and editing a package together...that's a whole different ballpark.

When you're producing a newscast for a student-run TV station, you've got a producer, director, audio engineer, graphics manager, two anchors, weather, sports and a few people who are on the content crew.

As I learned very quickly, you've got to work as a team so the whole thing doesn't fall apart.

I've picked up on this and a few other things that I want to pass along to anyone who may someday be in my situation because I went into this not knowing anything and I wish I would've known some of what I know now.


1. Always be aware of who is doing what

This is not only so you know what's going on, but so you can follow along in your printed script if you're selected to anchor that day.

2. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR PRODUCER

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Technology doesn't always work the way we want it, that's a known fact. If your assigned story has a VO that you're supposed to edit together, but you're having problems sending that to airspeed, let your producer know. If you can't find a good OTS graphic, but for some reason found surveillance footage or a good interview, let your producer know that you're going to change it. Letting your producer know not only covers you, but everyone who's in the control room as well.

3. If you don't know, ask

I can't tell you how many questions I had on my first day of anchoring. When you are the anchor for the day, you're in charge of writing most of the script with the exception of weather and sports, and also finding graphics and video to use in the newscast. Finding stuff is easy, but editing it together in a sequence or putting it into a graphic template can be confusing. If you aren't sure how to do something or need a refresher, ask. Your professor or director won't get mad at you, that's what they're there for.

4. Help the other anchor write their scripts

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In case something were to go wrong with a camera or the teleprompter, it's important that you each know what the other is going to say. You never know what could happen, so be ready.

5. If you're on camera, make up is your best friend

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I can't stress this enough. I ran out of time once and couldn't do a full face of make up, so I only had time for some bb cream to cover a few red spots on my face. My whole forehead was shining bright like a diamond and it was not a good look. You don't need a lot, just enough foundation to cover your face and maybe a little highlight.

6. Proof read your scripts MULTIPLE TIMES

After you've written your script, it likely then will be read over by your professor and then again by your producer, and changes will more than likely be made. When you're done writing, proof read what you've written and make sure spelling and pronunciations are correct, and after changes are made, proof read those. If you don't, things will be spelled wrong and sentences will be awkward and it'll throw you off. Just trust me. Proof read, proof read, PROOF READ.

7. When shooting, WHITE BALANCE

Or your footage will come out blue and unusable.

8. Get more b-roll than you need

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You may think you have enough, but when your interview subject is on the screen for too long and don't have any extra footage because it's already in your sequence...you'll regret not getting that extra 30-second shot.

9. Always make a note of your best stuff

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Whether that be anchoring, producing or editing sequences together, keep that in mind. If your class is like mine, you'll be required to make a demo reel tailored to your strong points. Keep track of what you do well, it'll help you in the long run!

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Don't Be Afraid of Changing Your College Plan

It really isn't THAT bad...

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I can't claim to have any deep wisdom on life, but I at least have some good experience with a highly turbulent college career. I started as a game design major in a tech college in Rochester, NY, transferred to a college in Texas, and now I'm an English major at CofC.

My college life has been something of a roller coaster.

But I regret none of it. Maybe it would have been easier to stick to the track I was on initially, but I would never have been fully satisfied with it. Now I've finally found my place and, even though it may have taken a lot of shifting around, it was undoubtedly worthwhile.

I don't mean to say that everyone who is slightly dissatisfied with their major should transfer all over the country and change their major(I had to sacrifice the ability to get a minor because of the path I took, so I wouldn't recommend it to most people). I just believe that if you find yourself not liking the classes that are vital to your major or if you can't find a place at your current college, then changing your major or transferring isn't as horrible as you might imagine.

When I started college I was completely confident in what I wanted to do and what my future would look like. I thought it would be ridiculous for someone to stray from their initial path. That idea led to me deciding to transfer later than was smart.

I think everyone should know that having to change your plans for the future, sometimes in dramatic ways, isn't a bad thing. No matter how scary transferring and changing majors can seem, many people have done it before you and many will after, you aren't alone.

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