So these past two weeks I have been really trying to step up my game. To really rev things up I started with my performance during my morning sports anchoring. I love sports and have a fun personality (or so I have been told) and I really want that to show when I am on air talking about fun stuff, like sports (and even as much as I can in news while still being serious.) A fellow anchor and former professor was helping me by telling me to use my “cheerleading voice.” Obviously I am not a cheerleader (or so I have been told I am not the cheerleading type, nor do I think I am.) But she had a great point, I needed to use the strength in my stomach to propel strength in my voice, to be more assertive and energetic. I also tried to use my hands more, just as I do when I talk. Overall, I think it worked well and I feel like I made a great improvement. Bottom line is, I need to be more comfortable in my abilities and know that I can do well on air and not second guess myself.
Another page in my new chapter was doing my first live shot. Not only did I have to do just a 5 pm or 6 pm hit with a tease or two, but I was doing KOMU 8 News Today (the morning show) which is 2 1/2 hours long. So I had about 4 hits and 4 teases. The live truck operator was doing her first shift too, so we were both in this together, as new-bees with no clue. We had a few snags, like getting the first shot set up completely about 6 minutes before I went on (talk about nerve wrecking!) But overall I think we played through it well for our first time at bat. I was really nervous and you can see it for my first few live shots, progressively the nerves eased away. I was also reminded to use my cheerleading voice and that helped too. I tell you what though, that is a different experience when you don’t have a teleprompter to read off of and you are just standing out in a parking lot somewhere with a giant live truck with a 100 foot (give or take a few feet) mast protruding from the top, and a camera person with lights set up all around you and you just have to talk and somehow get your point across without messing up too badly. I had a bit of a problem saying the name of the organization and locaton in my live shots because it was like a million words long. I know I have a lot of improving to do, but I am glad I took the leap and decided to do Monday morning live shots for part of the summer (even though its about 8 weeks of getting at the station at 2:30 am.)
Another step in my new game was aiming for a solid, hard news story. Even trying to lead the newscast. And I did indeed. I had the lead story on the prime-time newscast! IBM made a major announcement the day before my shift that they were opening up a Global Development data center in Columbia, MO. It was all-the-news the day before but I wanted to dive into more of the specifics. And one thing that was on everyone’s minds was jobs. IBM is promising 800 new jobs for the area, but everyone wants to know if they can get in. So I went after what kind of job qualifications they were looking for. Of course no one was telling specifics. I even called 18 (yes I counted) different people to get them to talk to me. I only got ONE on camera interview. And another very nice guy from Michigan State University ,where IBM had opened another site similar to what is coming to Columbia months before, talked to me on the phone and sent me a statement in an email. Another obstacle I had to overcome was the lack of visuals for my story. I had so much I wanted to say but zero visuals. Due to my lack of on-camera interviews and video, I couldn’t make a package and had to improvise with an on-set VOB and another VO/SOT. I think I was able to get all the information I needed across with that. Another great way to get across all the info was through my web-story, convergence is important to the changing business and it came in handy for this story especially. My reporting even aired several times on the morning show the next day, so it felt pretty good to do such an important story.
I feel like this new chapter in my reporting life, though far from my last, can be summed up quite nicely by quoting Natasha Bedingfield’s song from MTV’s captivating show “the Hills” (yes, I am being sarcastic and making fun of the show but don’t take it too seriously because I have watched the show several times.)
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten