Advanced Broadcast Journalism TV assignment

I’ve just completed one of the most challenging assignments of my life and I have the urge to blog about it.

This is a good thing. Yesterday, I only had the urge to shout, cry, drink or curl up into a foetal position for the rest of eternity.

TV Journalism is a medium I’m very interested in, spend a lot of time consuming, and when done well, it’s one that I have a lot of respect and admiration for. But it’s something I have a hard time envisioning myself being a part of.

I wonder if I’m hardcore enough.

I suppose part of it is being camera shy. I don’t want to look at myself on camera, I don’t like the sound of my own voice. When you’re doing it all yourself, from making that first phone call to finalising the editing, you have to spend a lot of time listening to and looking at yourself.

I’ll write about almost anything without a second thought, but I’m always nervous about putting video or radio stuff out there.

I love writing. It’s one of the main reasons I chose to study journalism. I spend an embarrassing amount of time searching for the ideal adjective or scrutinising the way I’ve structured a sentence whenever I write an essay, a blog entry or even just an email. There’s enough time to craft that perfect wall of words to stand behind. There is no such time in broadcast – and with only around 300 words to play with, there is not enough room.

If you’ve read any of my other posts, you’ve probably noticed I’m not the most concise person in the world. I like to ramble. I feel I’m being unfair and lazy if I don’t look at every possible aspect of a story, even if I’m just writing a blog that I think only three people will ever read. I found cutting down around forty hours of work to 106 seconds extremely difficult. Hence my desire to write a lengthy blog post.

Some of the difficulties I faced were simply logistical ones.

We all learned what a time-consuming process uploading to vimeo can be.

Thirty cameras between over sixty broadcast journalism students, not to mention the hundreds of students from other media units, does not leave a lot of room for the last minute interview or tip-off. I had to rely on a back up camera on more than one occasion. It would have been fine if it had been compatible with a Mac and the software required to complete the assignment. Instead I had to use a PC, a Mac and Final Cut Pro in conjunction with software that is foreign to me. This added to many extra hours of guess work on what conversions would provide a high quality image.

If I’d known how difficult it would be, I would have been much more pushy about getting my hands on a camera. Perhaps I would have crash-tackled a first year emerging from building nine. It is more likely I would have just used my traditional pushing technique – the offering of freshly baked cookies – to anyone who could help.

I hate being pushy, but it is probably a hurdle I will need to get over in order to succeed in this field. Not everyone can be bribed with cookies.

This all sounds quite whiny, so please don’t get me wrong, there were parts of the assignment I really enjoyed. I liked researching, I liked talking to people and I liked editing (once I had sorted all my files out). More importantly, I learned many invaluable lessons from the process. Now I almost believe that I am actually capable of this.

Here’s the final result. 100 seconds of something I would feel much more comfortable writing a 3000 word essay on.

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