Nearing the end…

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Tomorrow is our final Focal Point taping of the semester and it’s bittersweet. After a long, stressful, semester at Focal Point, it will be nice to finally catch up on some sleep. But as I look back on the memories and friends we have made throughout this semester, part of me doesn’t want it to ever end. Our class has been through a lot of ups and downs this semester and we’ve come through it all for the better. I can say without any doubt in my mind that there are students in this class that you will be seeing on network news before you know it. There is some amazing talent coming through the Journalism Department right now and I feel so blessed to have worked with those people. The other day I thought to myself, “I can’t wait until I’m watching the news and I see one of these faces on my screen. I will be proud to say that I was their producer at one time.”

Now enough with the emotional, sappy stuff. We have a show to put on.

Tomorrow marks our second “All Day Newsroom” and for the people at home, let me explain to you. It’s our way of simulating what working at a REAL station will be like, and preparing the reporters for short deadlines and stressful environments. We meet up in the (very early) morning for our morning meeting where we discuss the stories, who will be covering what, and what to expect from the show. As the producer, I act a little bit like their mothers as well, begging them to text me updates on their locations and stories and reminding them of all the little things. (It’s funny how much producing is like parenting!) After we adjourn, the reporters grab their equipment and run out the door, off to cover the news. While they do that, I start working on putting the show together, doing some writing, and organizing all the information so the viewers will actually want to watch our show. This goes on all day, while the reporters are coming in and out editing and attempting to handle the stress. We start taping around 6 p.m. barring any unforeseen catastrophes, and then it’s a normal show from there on out!

It’s a really stressful experience, but so important. I like to compare it to sports (because I’m a total dorky jock!) You can practice against your own team, with your coach there stopping you everytime you screw up, all day everyday, but it’s not until you take the plunge and go against the best team in the country in a real game that you see what you’re really made of. That’s exactly what we’re doing with the simulated news room days. We’re sucking it up, and going all out to see what we’re really made of. Sure, it’s not always pretty. It’s not always efficient, its not always a Win, but we’re learning alot. And the thing I’ve learned with this group of reporters and anchors, more times than not, it is a Win.

Two of our reporters, Kelley and Paige were out covering their stories last week and ran into a mother and child that said they watch our show on Saturdays. When they came back to tell us that, we were all shocked and honored. We’re so consumed with the idea of getting good grades on our stories, and thinking of this as a class, that we forget we’re working on an actual show! So if you’re one of our loyal viewers, I just want to say thank you. Hearing from you guys means so much and we’re so happy that you enjoy our show.

Wish us luck for a great show tomorrow! We’ll do our best to make you all proud. Thanks for a wonderful semester.

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