Read on RTDNA:
The scanner is blaring behind me, the monitor in front of me blinks updates, I smell coffee and someone is crinkling a bag of chips.
Yes, I’m back in the newsroom!
How did I get here?
I hosted two people from a station in my old market who were looking for interns. I mentioned to them that I might like to come visit for a week, just get back into the newsroom, refresh my skills.
Instead–they asked if I would be interested in some vacation relief work for the summer!
So here I am, in a familiar place that’s also new. The AP beeps are still here. The technology hasn’t changed too much. It’s a lot easier to get video in house now, from the field and from network feeds. The news itself hasn’t changed much either. And I’m even working with some people from my former station!
That scanner just said 3 kids, 2 adults, graze wounds… and my blood pressure is up. Cut-in? Chopper squeeze? Sheesh, I’m only in my first day of training. But the adrenaline never left, now did it?
I’m in it, and yet I still have the academic part of me observing the action. How are the managers deciding what to do? What words do the desk people use when they describe a scene? How are all the journalists deciding what to cover…and what NOT to cover?
I hope to answer, or at least shed light on, some of these questions as the summer progresses. I can answer them from my own anecdotal experience, but now I am looking at situations from another perspective. The academic perspective isn’t better or worse, just another way to see how the news goes from an event that happens to a story that’s told.
And I hope that in turn I can take a fresher point-of-view back to my classrooms in the fall. My life’s work now is to prepare the journalists of tomorrow. I can do that more effectively by being a journalist today.