Austin – Practicum Week 2

Well, my hair is in desperate need of a haircut, and I have grown some pretty disgusting sideburns. The good news is that I don’t need to be seen in public for the foreseeable future. This week was a more casual experience than week one, but I think that’s because there’s now a clear idea of what the expectations are. I should add that Adam’s days off are on Monday and Tuesday. Here’s a breakdown of what I did on day-by-day:

Day 1: On Wednesday, Adam was sent out to report on a campground near Calgary that remains open during the pandemic. He and Cami teamed up for this story; she wrote the 5 pm pack, and he wrote a pack for 6 pm. Adam says it’s not all that common for two digital journalists to team up on one story, but it’s been happening more often due to the pandemic. I was forwarded the transcribed clips, and I wrote a pack and a VO/SOT script for Adam to look over and provide some feedback.

Day 2: Thursday was a slow day off the hop, but it sped up as the day went on. Adam had to drive out to Invermere to report on how B.C is asking Albertans to stay in Alberta. He was on the road for the majority of the morning, but I did provide him with some information I found on the destination B.C website. It was a full spreadsheet of stats regarding Albertans visiting B.C; Money spent, reasons for travel, average time spent, etc. I then wrote a script and web copy to go along with it.

Day 3: Friday, Adam worked on a lighter story on how companies are coming together for Easter celebrations and donating food and flowers to charities. The pack turned out well and was an ideal kicker during a pandemic. We also did our Skype call on Friday. Another thing I noticed was just how many graphics are being used in newscasts. They are so effective at getting the point across and very visually pleasing.

Day 4: There was another death at the McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre, bringing the total death toll up to 18. Adam was tasked with reporting on this story. Global has had a story on the care center every single newscast for the past few weeks when the outbreak started. It’s quite impressive how these reporters can continue to cover the same story, but they’re always finding ways to keep it relevant and up to date. There have been several different interview subjects along with the coverage, and they’ve all been emotional.

Day 5: Well, that’s today. Adam worked on a story about how Jason Kenney announced Alberta will be sending PPE and medical supplies to other provinces. I was asked to reach out and try to find a healthcare worker to interview, but I had a really hard time with it. Nurses and paramedics are all being told to remain tight-lipped and so getting a comment on the record is very challenging. I have spoken with five people in the industry, and I am currently waiting to hear back from three.

To sum things up, this week put into perspective how mentally draining being a journalist can be. Not from personal experience, but through chatting with Adam. The whole crew at Global has been working long days and dealing with technical and communication issues every step of the way. It doesn’t help that the content they’re covering is mostly all sad and depressing. It seems like it would be tough to shut off and tune out from the news cycle when you’re so wrapped up in things.

Video Update:

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