During our studies at Cardiff University, we were involved in television journalism as a reporter, presenter, cameraperson and editor. From preliminary news searches to interviews filmed with our cameras, we felt proud at the end of the production day. Of course, there were mistakes and sometimes we didn’t feel confident enough, so it wasn’t always easy. But we realized that news is harder to find than to create a TV package on it.
The main areas of news search were social media, petition websites, and small local newspapers where people complain about something. Sometimes it’s better to go out and become a “dog with a nose for the news.” For example, you can often find something in a pub.
However, the news should be real, relevant and important as a matter of public interest. Otherwise, the news idea will not go through the office of the editor-in-chief.
Thus, it is important to conduct a comprehensive news search, and a short discussion in the editorial office with colleagues where it is necessary.
Unlike radio, television displays personal information such as faces, household photos, or work conditions depending on a topic. This is probably why people usually don’t want to be interviewed in front of the camera. Moreover, there are many people who do not answer at all or do not come at the agreed time. But for a journalist, filming the interview somehow happens, maybe after the tenth attempt. One of such TV reports dealt with the hardships of the Cardiff tourism industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The effects of the virus have spoiled the plans of tourists and travel agencies. Tourists are worried about the money they have already paid and their travel plans. Tour operators don’t even know whether to close or continue their drowning business. An “unknown virus” further obscures the unknown future, reaves someone’s pocket and deprives someone of health. Click on the button below to see the original report by Yerdana on how the Cardiff tourism industry dealt with the world famous pandemic scenario.
Every time our TV package was prepared, we also made a multimedia version of the news. It was a bit difficult for the young specialist to achieve all of these journalistic goals in one day.
Through these practical assignments, I learned how to work with interviewees, ask the right questions to reveal the story elements, and feel comfortable in front of the camera.
Behind the scenes
As mentioned above, we not only stayed in front of the camera, but also switched sides and improved our technical skills as a shoot/edit person. In Cardiff, where the weather was often rainy and windy, the operator had to take extra care of the camera, saving it from raindrops or strong winds. It’s also important to pay attention to image brightness, camera focus, clarity of sounds, and etc.
We tried to finish filming before noon and immediately started editing to be ready for the afternoon news. Sometimes, we had to have our lunches in a newsroom while preparing the package.
We made many mistakes as a trainee journalist, but they were much more helpful to us.
Every time we went out to shoot, we worked in pairs as a reporter and a cameraperson. One of those experiences was with my Brazilian colleague Diego Pavao. I was responsible for filming, sound quality and editing his TV program for the afternoon news.
Thank you for your attention!