Wednesday, April 7, 2010

4:30 Team D Newscast

The day started off well as both Alyssa and Greg reported early and were back in the newsroom by 1 p.m. Although they were done early, neither slacked off, but instead worked hard on making their pieces the best they could be. This included spending a lot of time on the writing, and asking me to critique their writing multiple times. Alyssa seems to every week find good, newsworthy stories, and that was once again the case today. Syracuse is a city dominated by S-U sports, so having a story about the (in the opinion of Professor Nicholson, myself, and many others) greatest all-time S-U men's basketball player visiting Syracuse and giving sound about the team and Coach Boeheim, was phenomenal. Allie also did a great job setting up her phoner immediately after the producer meeting, and was always continuously working.

Click here to listen to newscast.

I think I did a good job making the rundown, and made sure A Block went in an order of newsworthiness but also flowed. State legislators meeting today for the first time since the Easter break was the only newsworthy event which occurred today, so that story was going first. The park budget wrap connected to it, as parks budgets are affected by the county budget which is affected by the state budget. The consumer confidence story connected financial issues, and the job cuts survey story showed a contrast in opinion from it, with its first sentence connecting the two.

The West Virginia mine story did not really connect, but it has received a lot of media coverage and is a national story which people are interested in. This was the best place to put it in the newscast, so that it neither disrupted the previous flow nor future flow.

The Chiefs story was not extremely newsworthy, but in a dead news day like today, I decided to put it in there. Some people care that Opening Day is tomorrow, but since no one cares about the game preview, I used weather preparation as the angle. The Dave Bing wrap, which is a nice feature-esque wrap, is not very newsworthy, but definitely interesting to most listeners. The Chiefs and Bing stories were connected because of sports. All these connections in the newscast made it flow very well.

At the producer meeting at 12:45 p.m., 4:20 newscast anchor Jake Levy said he was going to get sound from Albany's State Legislature meeting via a phoner. I told him I was planning on using his sound for the SOT and information in my top story. After making many calls, Jake told me all the legislators were in a meeting, and he could not get sound from them. At this point, I quickly looked online for information, and could only find an article from The Albany Times-Union. After meeting with Professor Nicholson, we decided making this story a copy with a citation to The Albany Times-Union, was the best option. Jake continued to try to get sound by calling local legislators, but none of them knew about what had happened in Albany. I later learned during the post-newscasts meeting, that Jake had gotten relevant sound right before his newscast. Although I wish he notified me of that, considering he had notified me about everything else pertaining to the story and our newscast was after him, I understand he was focused on doing his story and ensuring a quality newscast for his team.

Timing was an issue in our newscast, which prompted cutting the tease and kicker. We were gradually going a little over for each story, to the point in which we were 20 seconds over going into the Dave Bing story. We went over an additional 10 seconds on that story, which could have been avoided if I took into consideration that in-studios wraps generally always go longer than expected. The Chiefs story then went over a few seconds, but more importantly, it included a terrible blunder which negatively impacted the quality of the newscast.

I had cut a 10 second soundbite on Audacity, and the rest of the sound which I cut the bite from, was on another track and after it. When I saved my bite as an MP3 into the 4:30 newscast folder, I forgot to delete the sound on the second track. So during the newscast, after the 10 second soundbite played, the extraneous sound played, which happened to include information repeated in the anchor's next track. After a few seconds I realized this, and the engineer stopped playing the sound. However, the story's credibility, the newscast's quality, and our timing, were really hurt by my mistake.

Overall, today was a very good newscast. I did a good job with the rundown and writing. I was on top of the rundown,writing, talent, and the entire newscast throughout the day. Everything was done about 15 minutes before our newscast, so I double-checked and triple-checked the rundown and script for errors. However, I did not double-check the soundbites, which was a problem.

Allie, Alyssa, and Greg did a great job with their voicing and writing, and it showed in the quality of their work. Allie is generally a soft-speaker, but she has greatly improved that this semester both in broadcasting and in conversation. She sounded clear throughout the newscast and really did a great job anchoring. Although all of our writing could have been tighter, its quality was the best I've seen in a newscast this semester.

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