This wasn’t just my last week of practicum, but it was my last week of classes at SAIT. I was asked to make a news pack for my supervisor that also made it into the final show–and I had to put it all together in an hour because it wasn’t really up to snuff the first time around. I was actually proud of the result for the first time since the start of the quarantine.
We had our last Newsfile class watch, and it ended somewhat somber. I still had to finish my demo website so I couldn’t stick around for a lot of it either.
There were a lot of tears from what I was still there to see. James ended the last show in such an eloquent nice way too–which somewhat added to the sting. It was difficult not being able to really engage with the class as we watched and talked.
But it’s not all about feeling bad. I think everyone shared the same feeling of accomplishment coming out of a semester that had some added challenge tacked on–especially the instructors who deserve some props for getting things together for the students on such short notice. It wasn’t easy to get everything done, and with the helpline not being helpful or online frequently (I know they have a lot of people to help) it was made pretty difficult to get things together at times. I was extremely anxious going into my last few assignments until someone at the Adobe help desk was able to set me up with a loophole for getting creative cloud back.
It’s rough looking back on pre-quarantine because in many ways it felt like I wasn’t grateful for how much more facility we had over what we could do, how and when. I remember just before the quarantine started some of us spoke about how it felt like something disastrous was coming up–like how the air gets thicker before a storm. It hasn’t been a disaster, but it’s been hard. Knowing that we may not get a chance to be a relatively full class together again will be hard too. Now it’s over, and it’s been a few days of listless, zero-activity days. I go on walks when I can, and get fresh air, talk to people online or over the phone, but something about it is so much more confining–even though it’s all what I’d likely be doing right now anyway.
This is my last “assignment” for the class, and I was putting it off a bit because I don’t know if I’m alright with it all being truly “over”, you know? But it is.
It’s been fun, but nothing fun is permanent. Thanks RTBN, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat (that is not a request to fail me please don’t do that).
I can’t believe it’s over already, and I’m not just talking about the practicum itself. It’s weird to think that this blog I’m writing right now is the last thing I will be doing at SAIT. The last two years have been the most rewarding of my life and I’m so excited to say that I am now an official college graduate! I may or may not have put off writing this final blog past since it is the last thing I have to do for the program and I’m both happy and sad about it.
As for the practicum, this past week was pretty standard. I did the usual writing web copy, transcribing clips, wrote a VO/CVO, did some chase producing, and joined in on the morning meetings. Let’s break it down day-by-day, SHALL WE!!!
Day 1- Monday
Over the weekend, Kevin asked if I could try and get a hold of a couple local artists who started an event called the Quarantine International Film Festival (QIFF). They ended up receiving over 600 submissions from 54 countries worldwide, which was far more than they were ever expecting.
Kevin was hoping I could arrange interviews and see if they would shoot some B-roll over the weekend due to social distancing. When I got a hold of them, they were all gung-ho to do the interview and were even okay with Kevin doing it at their place, so he was able to shoot some B-roll himself. He shot the story that morning and I spent the day writing his web copy and transcribing the interviews. That was done around one and I spent the rest of the day setting up the next days story.
On Tuesday, Kevin covered a story on YYC Grocery Delivery, a volunteer group organized U of C students helping deliver groceries to those in need during COVID-19. They do it free of charge and focus on helping those who are high risk. I spent the back half of Monday contacting the group and organizing interviews and shoot times for Kevin. I also did a pre-interview over the phone with the project leader so I could get a head start on the web copy. In the end, I was able to set Kevin up with 3 interviews; a volunteer, a client and one of the organizers. I arranged Kevin to meet the volunteer in Shawnessy to shoot a little B-roll of her shopping for the groceries and conduct the interview. He then went with her to the clients house and got more B-roll there and interviewed the recipient of the groceries. After that, he made his way down to interview the Volunteer coordinator for YYC Grocery Delivery. He was able to get all parts done and shot by 11:30 and then sent me the interviews to transcribe. I did that, sent the transcriptions back to him and wrote the web copy. All-in-all, Tuesday worked out very well and we were both done before three.
Kevin ended up working on something else for the rest of the week and didn’t need my help so I assisted Kevin Fleming for the Wednesday and Thursday.
On Wednesday, KF was working on a story in Black Diamond about a family run film and photography company that is using their spare time to make an amateur cooking show called “Quarantine Cooking”. The show had started going viral and it made for a great feel good story! I did the usual transcriptions and web copy writing for him. I also started working on a VO/CVO but my computer started having some issues so he said not to worry about it. The story went on the five and six news.
On Thursday, KF went up to Drumheller to cover a story that was given to him by a company called Dinosaur Valley Studios. DVS normally makes dinosaur and animal props for movies but was given a new task back a central Alberta village called Rochon Sands. They were making a 25-foot Northern Pike for the Summer getaway to put in their main marina. Once again, I did the usual transcriptions and web copy and was able to write the VO/CVO for him which was used in the 6 o’clock news. It was fun working with Kevin Fleming, and I think he really appreciated all the help since he was doing a lot of driving for his two stories.
This was my last and final day of practicum and since Kevin wasn’t working I arranged to do my final Skype chat with him, which is posted below. I has spoken to Jeff Little, the News Director, the day before and asked him if it was alright if I only worked till noon since Kevin wasn’t working and I was hoping to jump in to the final group chat for school. He didn’t have a problem with it, so that was awesome.
During the morning meeting, I thanked everyone for all they’ve done and let them known how appreciative I was of being given the opportunity to help with such a great station. I then offered my help and ended up getting two jobs to do before noon.
Firstly, I was asked to contact multiple pharmacies and ask them about their Ventolin (asthma medication) supply as there was a release that went out highlighting the shortage on Ventolin around the city. I also asked about PPE masks and gloves for the pharmacists as last week there was a shortage on those as well and pharmacists were unable to get any for themselves. I ended up contacting eight pharmacies and they all gave me mixed answers which was great. I sent my findings to the news team and started on task two.
For my second task I was asked to contact SAIT, MRU and U of C and ask what their plans are for kids summer camps since all events have been cancelled until the end of August. It was for a story Glenn Campbell was doing on sports around Calgary and the impact the announcement would have. I ended up hearing back from MRU and SAIT but not U of C. They pretty much just said that they were figuring it out and would have a proper answer the coming week. Then I was all done and jumped in the morning meeting.
So that’s it. Like I said before, it was an amazing practicum and I learned a lot! Way more than I thought I would going into it because of doing it from home. I feel like my writing has grown and I’m more comfortable reaching out to people for interviews. I couldn’t have asked for a better end to my adventure at SAIT and am so excited for what the future holds! Thanks for following along during this journey. Till next time!
It is I, Sean Marks, back at it again to give you the up and up on how my third week of practicum has been. I can’t believe how quickly it’s flown by, geez. It feels like just yesterday I was calling in to the first morning meeting all nervous and now it’s just part of my normal, everyday routine. This week was a pretty busy one for the most part though. I got the chance to do a few more CVO’s, write more copy and even go out and help shoot a story that I pitched (obviously keeping with the social distancing measures of course). It was a pretty good week…. so lets get into it.
Day 1- Monday
Monday was pretty uneventful to be honest. Kevin told me on Sunday about the story he would be doing and just needed me to write the web copy the next day. However, he ended up writing it the night before so it was ready to be published Monday morning as it turned out to be time sensitive and he wanted to be the first to break the story. He then asked me to set up some interviews for him for Tuesday for another story about a dog sled company in Canmore. I wasn’t able to get the interviews set up (probably because it was Easter Monday) but it didn’t end up making a difference as he came down with something and ended up not working the next day anyways.
Day 2- Tuesday
With Kevin being sick on Tuesday, I offered my help to anyone who needed it at the station. The assignment editor, Kevin Nimmock, ended up giving me two jobs to do that day. I ended up interviewing the CEO of the Calgary Counselling Centre, Dr. Robbie Babins-Wagner, and putting together a CVO on how they’ve been doing since resorting to online sessions with their clients. I also interviewed a volunteer for the Distress Centre Calgary who was organizing their 50 year anniversary and did a CVO for that as well. I wrote copies for both stories but they didn’t end up going to web. It was a super productive and fulfilling day and probably one of the busiest ones I’d had to date.
You can watch both CVO’s at the following link. Distress is at 12:48 and Counselling at 30:57.
Kevin and I were back at it again on Wednesday and were assigned a story on Post-secondary schools in Calgary. It came from a tip off that the U of C was preparing to go online for the fall semester but nothing was confirmed. We were both unsure of whether the story would work or not since we couldn’t get a straight answer but ended up focusing on contingency plans that were in place for not only U of C but also MRU and SAIT. I transcribed Kevin’s interviews and wrote the web copy for the story. I was also in charge of setting up a possible interview with an administrator at SAIT. I contacted Chris Gerritsen but was unable to get an interview that day. He did give us a statement that we used in the story and the web copy.
On Thursday, Kevin asked if I would like to join him in shooting the story that I had pitched to him the previous week. It was on a Calgary company called YYC Princesses that normally attends children’s birthday parties as princesses from Disney movies. However, with COVID-19 and social distancing they were forced to make some changes. They are now doing what they call Princess Trains where they visit kids at home and on their birthdays and sing and chat with them from the street. They also have an online presence now with something called Princess TV which you can watch on their Facebook page.
Kevin had me conduct the interviews and gave me a copy of the footage to cut my own pack to use for my demo. The story will air on CTV next Tuesday.
Day 5- Friday
Friday was another somewhat slow day as Kevin usually has Fridays off. I did the usual call in to the morning meeting and offered my help but didn’t hear anything for a few hours.
I ended up helping Timm Bruch with a story he was doing on Jason Kenney and the pipeline. He wanted me to find a clip of Kenney from a press conference he did talking about how Alberta needs north of $20 billion to get back on track. I had some difficulty finding the exact clip he was talking about and when I finally did, one of the web editors had tracked it down for him. I did end up finding another clip from a phone interview Kenney did with BNN Bloomberg where he said something similar which I sent to Timm as well.
And there you have it. Three weeks in the bag, one to go! I didn’t get a chance to do a sit-down with Kevin this week so we’re going to go over the back half of the practicum for my fourth and final blog post! As always, thanks again for reading along and seeing how things are going with this lad. Catch you next time!
Hello again friends! Sean Marks here and I’m ready to tell you all about my exciting second week. I know what you’re all thinking… “But Sean, it’s Tuesday, that’s too late to be talking about LAST week.” Well I apologize, I’ve had some technical difficulties on my end and have been struggling to get ye old internet and computer back up and running. Well don’t fret, cause we’re rocking and rolling now and I’m pumped to tell you all about my second week at CTV Calgary… from home.
Day 1- Monday
Well, I’m not going to lie, Monday was pretty low key. I spent the day, as well as some of Sunday, helping Kevin find some interviews for a story he was doing on Wednesday. The story was about a possible shortage of honeybees we may experience in the coming months since most new bees are imported every season from California and New Zealand. The bee shortage could have a big effect on the future crops of Canola as bees play a major role in the pollination of hybrid canola seeds.
Kevin wanted me to find a bee keeper in town he could interview as well as a canola farmer. The bee keeper was easy enough to get a hold of but the real problem came with actually tracking down a canola farmer. I went through large canola companies trying to find a farmer to speak to, and eventually, after a few hours of searching, I finally found someone near Taber who was willing to talk to us. We ended up sending someone from CTV Lethbridge to shoot the interview for us and Kevin got it sent back to him. That was pretty much the Monday.
Day 2- Tuesday
Tuesday definitely had a bit more going on. Kevin was covering a story at the Kerby Centre and how they’re delivering food and medicine to their normal clientele since they’re all older and many of them can’t do it for themselves. I didn’t have to find any interviews for Kevin as he went down to the centre and had them all set up already.
I did what I normally do for him though and transcribed his interviews as well as write the web copy. I also attended the morning meeting as I’ve been doing every morning and listening in to get some tips on story ideas and what to keep an eye out for.
As I said before, Kevin and I were already working on the Bee story for Wednesdays show, so there wasn’t a whole lot that we needed to do…. aside from the usual morning meeting, transcriptions and web copy. We were able to get that done earlier in the day and took it easy for the most part. A solid day for us both, plus the story turned out great!
Thursday started out like every other day… with the morning meeting. However, it was a little different as Kevin wasn’t working that day so I got to spend the day as a chase producer. Now, if you don’t know what that is, let me explain. Basically, a chase producer sets up interviews for reporters and chases leads, hence the name.
I helped out two reporters: Tyson Fedor and Stephanie Thomas. Tyson was looking for some local businesses to speak with about how they’re being affected by COVID-19 financially. I found three businesses for him to speak to, all in the same little strip mall that’s been struggling. Stephanie was trying to find people who were either looking to sell their homes or in the market for one for a story on how COVID has been affecting the real estate market. I was able to find two buyers for her but was unable to find any sellers… until about five o’clock when I got a flood of messages from sellers but it was toolate.
Unfortunately, none of the interviews ended up working out for them. It was a bit of a bummer and had me down for a bit, but they all assured me that there was nothing that we could do and that’s just how the industry works sometimes.
Day 5- Friday
Friday was another Kevin-less day so I joined into the morning meeting and offered my help to anyone who needed it. I ended up writing web copy for Virginia Wright who was doing a story on the changes facing Easter weekend and how churches have been forced to improvise. I also transcribed all her interviews that she got for the day. The story went over really well and went on to the five o’clock news.
All in all, it was a good week. Not quite as busy as the first, but still rewarding. I got a chance to try new things as well as work on some aspects I’d been struggling on. I sat down with Kevin and spoke to him about how the week went as well as how they’ve been doing at the station with everyone working remotely.
Thanks for listening/reading and I’ll chat with you again next week! (Hopefully on time….)
Hi all, Erika Rolling here! I want to start off with how incredibly grateful I am to be able to have an on-site practicum during a global health crisis. My bosses are amazing and very helpful.
With that being said, I want to share how my first week of practicum at Peace River Broadcasting went and some of the changes they have had to face in a short time period. I worked with this station last summer being the summer events cruiser as well as doing some on-air shifts and I’m happy to be back!
Peace River Broadcasting consists of two radio stations Kix.fm and Rivercountry.fm, they are a independent corporation and rely heavily on regional advertising. With the times being very unprecedented with COVID-19 shutting down most of the world as we know it, PRB has taken a hard hit to income with businesses not being able to advertise being forced to close. I was initially supposed to be contracted to start working during my practicum, but it wasn’t possible with the situation the station is in currently. The operation here now has the minimum of workers and the ones that are left work from home as much as possible.
I started on Tuesday March 31, as they were having important meetings on the Monday and handling important issues. I started out meeting the new people since I had left in August and got situated at my new desk area. The way news is done in an area like this is much different than the city. The news cycle is very long as there is not many regional things to cover usually. We pre-record the top of the hour news, using Burli to write and iMedia Touch Production to record, edit and put into the system. These two programs are new to me and it was a challenge at first but I am getting the hang of editing and writing with them. I was put to the test with doing the agriculture report for the five o’clock news. I looked up their formatting and I was shown where to get the latest grain prices in the region. It was a relatively slow day, many were coming in to get their belongings after being laid off because of the coronavirus, it was a sad day for many employees.
This day was a bit busier for the newsroom, I was able to do an over the phone interview with the Mayor of High Level on their newly implemented COVID-19 assistance line for residents in the area needing help getting essentials due to the coronavirus. I also did the top of the hour newscasts from noon to six, along with making a web post for the interview with Mayor Crystal McAteer. I was getting the hang of using the new systems, I thought but my unedited casts aired a few times. I was given a more thorough lesson on how to use iMedia touch, and I’m glad to report I haven’t messed up since. One thing the owners of the company implemented for the station this day was limiting the amount of the people in the building at one time, so now I don’t come in until later in the morning and I’m not complaining with an hour drive there.
Many of the tasks for the day were done before I got to work with the new rules of limiting people in the building. I asked my news director about what to do and there wasn’t much to cover. I cut clips from the daily COVID-19 press conference for myself and the morning news guy as well as make many stories off of national news reported for myself on the top of the hour newscasts I was doing. I was happy my news director said I give a good variety of news and I have a commanding voice for the radio. It is definitely interesting running a newsroom with two people.
Friday, hooray… for everybody else. There were some things my news director was wanting me to do from over a week ago. It was very old news that wasn’t directed towards our region (which we solely focus on). I tried to write something up on it but the information was too out of date concerning the pandemic, it just didn’t seem right to publish and broadcast it, so I brought it up with him and he agreed it was past the point of trying to be “news”. I did the top of the hour casts and prepped for the weekend shifts I got.
Day 5 & 6:
The station on the weekends now are empty. All the weekend on-air hosts and news team got laid off before my arrival, so I took over all the jobs needing to be done on the weekends here. I start at nine with the news at the top of the hour every hour and starting at noon I voice track the two stations until six. I have to admit it kept me busy throughout the day. It’s just very odd sitting all alone in the building for 18 hours this weekend. I did manage to do all of it with very minimal mess ups and my supervisor was texting me throughout the day on how well I was doing. I now have three days off to regenerate and I’m crossing my fingers everybody here is social distancing and washing their hands! As of April 5, there are 9 cases of COVID-19 in Peace River area and 0 in Fairview area, so I will not be leaving my home in the safe zone until work again!
irritability, listlessness, and similar symptoms resulting from long confinement or isolation indoors during the winter.
“a great energy-burning game for exuberant Cubs with midwinter cabin fever”
There is currently no definition for “pandemic fever” aside from what that obviously actually means. I’ve left the house once in the last 2 weeks, and since then the world has become even more strict on travel outside. If the world weren’t wrought to it’s current state by the COVID-19 crisis I would be doing my practicum in Lloydminster, but with most reporters working from home it was too difficult for the station to supervise any practicum students–and the place I had planned to stay had to cancel for safety reasons.
Currently I am learning from Global News Calgary producer Joanne Reid, which I am both grateful for and excited about. Production behind the scenes is one of my passions and hearing about what goes on in the production room in industry is really enlightening–especially in circumstances like this one.
Reporting is considered an essential service right now, which means reporters are given paperwork to avoid fines if they are found out and about currently. With employees and workers in such short supply, Global Calgary even had to purpose the Edmonton show as an Alberta update for the weekend of March 21/22. Calgary anchors and reporters still did cut-ins with local news, but Joanne said that there were still complaints. She added that this is the first time in her career that they haven’t had a show to put together.
Joanne says that the Coronavirus has caused a phenomenon where the news seems to be covering a single ongoing story with several angles each day–akin to press coverage of 9/11. Trying to come up with story ideas to help has been difficult, and the schedule that Joanne works on adds some complications–but depending how this next week goes I could possibly catch meetings if I rework my sleep schedule. It needs some re-ordering anyway.
I was unable to do a video call with Joanne and on top of that there has been an issue with my video editing software so I have no blog project to show for this week, however I’ve had time to absorb and assess information on media coverage during the crisis.
The last few weeks have seen a lot of projects done from home for reporters, and with a short amount of staff in production there are instances where the workload becomes a bit more difficult–whether you see it or not. Sometimes the prompter doesn’t work, and an anchor will have to be more reliant on paper scripts. Sometimes an interview will need to be changed to be more topical, something that Global News had to do Thursday in order to remain relevant with COVID-19 information: a nutritionist was going to be on the show, but now, via skype, she was giving tips regarding eating healthy in quarantine. The restrictions on live interviews seem to limit them to being done on the porch of houses rather than inside–speaking to people on the street requires handing them the microphone (a practice not often recommended) or coming up with a method of holding it like a makeshift boom mic.
The city is much quieter, making events like crime suddenly an even bigger story to cover in news because it’s local. It’s an event. Otherwise stories tend to focus much more on personal experiences of individuals trying to make a difference, or those effected by the pandemic’s change.
It’s been stressful for workers. When some of us convened to speak about our practicum experience we talked about how our locations and supervisors were dealing with the experience. Reporters suddenly have a lot more difficulty trying to make B-Roll, and students under them especially so as they are advised not to leave home. Anchors need to stretch material for longer with more to say in order to fill the same timeframe that would normally be filled by much more diverse news. Producers need to extend the bounds of local stories more. Burn-out is a much more prevalent issue than before.
Currently, my “homework” has been to rewrite scripts and type up web-copy as a demonstration of what I can do, as well as put together story ideas for the upcoming week. Hopefully I haven’t bombed that.
What does the sun feel like? I think I have left my house three times in the past week, and one of those occasions was to take out the trash. Obviously, this has been a difficult time for everyone, and so I’m just thankful to have something arranged for my practicum.
I was initially slated to take my practicum at Chek News in Victoria, but thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, that is not happening. Instead, I am Shadowing Global News’ Adam MacVicar as he goes about his daily tasks. I have been helping him as much as possible and keeping tabs on what he has done each day. As usual, I’ve been watching a ton of news only now; I’m watching with more of a critical eye. This pandemic is causing a wide range of issues for newsrooms worldwide. From technical challenges to social distancing measures in the studio, it’s a strange time to be breaking into the industry, to say the least. Here’s a rundown of what I’ve been doing daily.
Day 1: The first thing I did was wake up early to catch the morning newscast. I want to be able to compare how the shows look throughout the day and what kind of content the station is putting out. I reached out to Adam after the morning story meeting, and he told me he was working on a story about how schools are transitioning to online learning. I was tasked with conducting background research and finding a parent of a student to interview. I ended up getting in touch with someone within an hour and a half, and I feel like Adam was quite happy with that. I then watched the national and Calgary newscasts at 5 pm.
Day 2: My second day was much slower. I watched the morning news again and then contacted Adam. This time, however, Adam was covering a murder-suicide in Sundre, and he told me there wasn’t much I could have done. What I did instead was put together a couple of VO/SOT scripts for him to critique. I felt like I had a lot of free time on my hands, but I wanted to ensure that if Adam asked me to complete a task, I could have it done ASAP. Again, I watched the national and local news at 5 pm.
Day 3: My third day cleared up a bunch for me. It’s a learning process for not only myself but also Adam, who has never had to do anything along these lines. We had a solid chat on the phone in the evening that cleared up some things and helped my understanding of the expectations. Anyways, Adam was doing a story on the oil and gas industry and how the price of oil is absolutely in the dumps. He had me looking into how many people have been affected recently and an overview of oil price trends. I also suggested he reach out to someone who has recently been laid off. I called a handful of my buddies and found out that an old friend of mine just got laid off. He agreed to do an interview, so I set it up and got it to Adam. Once again, he sounded happy that I was able to find someone promptly. Also, it was pretty cool seeing my buddy Mike on the news.
Day 4: This was a slow one. Adam had the day off, and so I guess I did too. We did our Skype call, and I was able to begin picturing how my weekly video update would look. I also wrote a couple of web stories to kill some time.
Day 5: Again, Adam had the day off. His schedule has been wonky due to the situation, but I still managed to keep busy. I watched the news (like always) and took some in-depth notes on what I noticed. First, as you know, it’s all COVID all the time. Global started this cast off with an address from Jason Kenney and then jumped straight into a live feed of Deena Hinshaw. The live went on longer than I expected, but I guess they needed to fill time, and it is what everyone wants to see. Still, seemed unconventional. As they have been doing for every cast, they then had an update of the numbers here in Alberta with a couple of full-screen graphics. I’m noticing fewer lives from reporters as well. Paul Dunphy is doing the weather from home, looks strange, but works quite well. Also, Leslie Horton’s “Our YYC” segment has been starting every time with the distress centre’s phone number.
Day 6: I keep trying to lend a helping hand and put my skills to the test each day, but sometimes, Adam seems to be either too busy or on top of the story to the point where he doesn’t need help. This was one of those days. He was working on a story about how Tyler Shandro contacted two doctors who were protesting proposed budget cuts earlier this year. I contacted Janice Fraser of the Green Party for an interview after Adam told me they were looking for her contact info. I then passed on the number. I wrote two web stories and a script to give Adam something to critique, and as he would say, “get some reps in.”
Day 7: Well, that’s today, I suppose. Adam is working on a story regarding an RV park that remains open. He needed some background info on whether or not that is even legal at this point, so I did some digging and sent it his way. That was all he needed from me. I’m still waiting to see if there’s anything more I can do, but in the meantime, I’m plugging away on this blog
Tuesday, Audrey and I went to the U of C to know more about the story of Madden, a 5-year-old who recovered from a DNA-related disease. We recorded four interviews total and we gathered good visuals of the boy. Audrey built a TV and a Radio Pack out of the items. I wrote my own version, but we needed it to be polished up a little bit, so we’re going to do that tomorrow.
Wednesday was a slower day for Audrey and me. At first, we thought we had to go to Calgary’s International car show, but another reporter from CBC covered it on Monday. Audrey built a Radio Pack out of the material and she showed me how to write a web article using Radio-Canada’s platform. I also attended an information session about how to generate and pitch good story ideas. Audrey allowed me to create a copy so I could keep it after my practicum. In fact, she gave me the permission to do so for every reference document I may find useful going forward.
Thursday, despite the news, our day was slower than we expected. We were supposed to have a training in the afternoon, so Audrey was assigned to build a radio pack and write a web story. The training got cancelled and so we remained in the station. In the afternoon, we went to a meeting in which all the people at CBC French in Alberta attended. The people there gave us an update about CBC/Radio-Canada’s policies as the number of COVID-19 cases across the country were getting problematic.
Shortly after, Audrey went down in the basement and picked all her equipment in her car, in the case she would have to work from home. Then we attended Naheed Nenshi’s press conference at 5 PM, Audrey built a radio pack out of it (along with Edmonton’s press conference), I wrote my own version and then we left.
Friday, Audrey used her time to work on her own projects. I was assigned to another reporter that was covering the impact of the NHL season being suspended on sports bar businesses. We made a lot of calls but either the businesses either didn’t want to talk to us or they didn’t call us back. We drove back to 17 Ave, also called the Red Mile, to knock on business doors in hope we would find someone to talk to us. After a couple attempts, someone agreed to talk to us. We gathered the interview, recorded some B-roll of the bar and we came back to the station. We sent the tape to Edmonton so the reporter there could build her pack. At the same time, we were shocked to see how quickly things have changed in the news about COVID-19. We heard the sports reporter (the one I’ve been assigned to earlier last week) talking about sports events being cancelled. That made me realize how tough the job would be in the remaining two weeks to generate original story ideas.
Saturday, Audrey and I decided to do a TV and a Radio Pack about how the COVID-19 is impacting the zero-waste movement. Because of the new sanitary measures, more waste is generated. We visited a zero-waste store near Downtown Calgary to get their point of view. We didn’t expect it, but a customer agreed to talk to us! That helped us later in the day, because we didn’t have to go to our other interview later in the afternoon. We then went to the Calgary Farmers Market to learn more about the new measures implemented to limit community spreads of COVID-19. With three interviews and plenty of visuals at hand, we headed back to the station and built the packs. I wrote a web article to practice my writing skills.
Tuesday, I arrived at CBC Calgary ten minutes in advance. I took part of the French assignment meeting in the morning. I’ve been assigned to Audrey Neveu for the length of the practicum, so I will be following her for the next days and weeks to come. Something that surprised me here is that French and English reporters really work together. I’ve been told it is a situation that doesn’t happen in a lot of other stations (I heard it wasn’t the case at CBC Edmonton).
After having a tour of the offices and meeting most of the journalists and employees, Audrey and I went down to Quarry Park to record an interview with someone at Lafarge Canada. The interview and B-roll shooting took about an hour. Then we went back to the station so I could do a couple phone calls to various cannabis businesses across Alberta. I made about ten to fifteen phone calls.
Wednesday was much of a slower day. Audrey had to write a radio pack and a web post. To have some practice, she let me write my own version and he vetted me like someone else at CBC would do. Audrey gave me a very useful sheet she made about the radio and TV formats, which is very useful to me.
Thursday was much more of an active day. We were assigned to cover a meeting in MacDougall Centre in Downtown Calgary about the review of the Supervised Consumption Site. The press conference was bizarre. The reporters did not have the time to go through the report and therefore, a lot more questions had to be asked and many times, the experts asked the reporters to relate to the report. On that occasion, I had the chance to witness the cooperation between the reporters. A lot of times, it happened that the reporters not only from the same stations but also from different outlets were asking the questions of other reporters. Some of them even jotted their questions down so other reporters could do it for them! I heard that reporters in Calgary are really cooperative with each other, and it was really cool to witness that for real.
Friday, Audrey had to take the day off because her parents are in town. I took the occasion to follow the Radio Western Canada’s sports reporter. We went to the Saddledome to see what the Flames practices look like. We recorded an interview with Geoff Ward and also another one of Johnny Gaudreau. During the afternoon, I followed the homestretch radio show host to know what it’s like to prepare such a three-hour-and-a-half show. I wrote the weather segment for the province and I took part in a trivia on time zones (since we’re moving to Daylight Saving Time this weekend).
On this last day of my first week, before I got to work, I’ve seen a fire happening at a plant right next to my father’s workplace. I took some videos on my phone along with a picture, then we went to the station. Unfortunately, we couldn’t publish any visuals on a web article because we did not talk to the communications department of the affected companies. Then, I went along with a reporter to cover the Calgary Deaf Association getting in their first home as they will celebrate their 85 years of age! While we were there, I’ve met a former SAIT student in Broadcast News, who was part of LisaMac’s first-class at SAIT! We’ve built a VO-Clip and a Radio pack out of it.
I’m really excited about what’s next! I can’t wait to discover even more things at CBC! The people there are really nice.
Day 1: I met everyone, attended the morning meeting, and got a tour of the newsroom. It’s a nice location – on the third floor of an office building, the same level as a plastic surgeon and gastrointestinal doctor. Interesting combination. Anyway, I was sent with Quinn Campbell to the Lethbridge Police Station to cover an announcement for new drug courts coming to the city. I asked Doug Schweitzer a question. After we finished there, we got court exteriors and I shadowed her as she edited her pack. Global Lethbridge doesn’t do live shows, they film the leads and scripts in advance, so I sat in on Liam and Danika’s anchoring.
Day 2: Road trip! I tagged along with Emily Olsen as we headed to Stand Off, Alberta. The drive was about 45 minutes, and we chatted a lot on the way. The Blood Tribe and detox centre were receiving additional funding. Similar to Day 1, it was an announcement-style pack. However, I did bring my own camera and edited my own version of the pack to get familiar with the operations. Later on, I floated some ideas for original stories, and Liam seemed to like them.
Day 3: They let me start using the company vehicle today! I was sent out to cover a media availability for New West Theatre’s production of Dear Johnny Deere. I shot the rehearsal, and spoke to the director and two of the actors. Once I finished this, I went to get footage of the snowfall that happened that morning for a VO piece leading into the show’s weather segment. I got back, wrote the theatre VO and picked SOTs (clips), then edited both the theatre segment and the weather segment. I also wrote Emily’s web story on the city funding cuts to the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden. https://globalnews.ca/news/6631278/nikka-yuko-japanese-garden-alberta-budget-2020/
Day 4: I was sent out to cover another VO/SOT assignment to CANstruction 2020, a fundraising event/competition held annually. Once I shot, wrote, and edited this, Liam gave me the go-ahead to start on one of my story ideas: finding out how the large amount of vacant commercial spaces is impacting the city. So I drove around finding empty buildings for sale and did a lot of b-roll. I tried talking to nearby businesses to see how they’ve been impacted, but no one wanted to speak on camera. I made several calls to commercial realtors and contacted the City of Lethbridge.
Day 5: Today I focused on finishing my pack. I had 2 interviews set up, and went “door-knocking” to get 2 others. Shot more b-roll. Wrote my script. Today felt slow, but it was a lot of driving and figuring out how I wanted my story to look. Liam was out today, and Quinn suggested we push my story to Monday so it could have a better chance of being a top story, so I will get Liam to vet my script first thing Monday so I can edit and write for web.