Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Things I learned from my first day of real interviewing

1) A cameraman/carryall man/emotional support is a good thing to have (DH filled in on this one, and he also drove me around. Need I say how I feel about that?)
2) Having a major breakdown because nobody will let you speak to actual people of importance ruins your makeup.
3) Bring more makeup (see 2)
4) Check your equipment before leaving
5) Camera lights sometimes explode. (see 4) It wasn't my fault.
6) ALWAYS check your audio before continuing with the interview, even if you pulled an important person out of a meeting that only has 15 minutes to speak to you. *
7) If there isn't any sound once you return to the lab... your situation is hopeless
8) Secretaries are evil
9) If you're getting nowhere, just show up; people will talk to you. (see 8)
10) Don't just listen to the spokesperson-- get the real people that work there too **
11) Getting more than one interview can save your life (see 6 and 7)
12) Don't wear a coat that makes you look fat for your "stand-up" (the part where the reporter is on camera talking about his/her story). The camera makes you look fat enough as it is.
13) From the moment your story is approved, all hell will break lose.
14) I love reporting. I really do. It was the scariest, most stressful thing I ever did (ok, maybe not EVER, but in my school life most definitely), but it was also tons of fun, and I met such amazing people today and learned so much. I want to get better at this.

* I did a piece on teen pregnancy (a report just showed that teen pregnancy is on the rise again in the US after a decade-long decline). I couldn't get a hold of anybody from a local community health clinic through the secretary, so I eventually just showed up and asked somebody who looked in charge if I could talk to someone. She went and pulled the executive director out of a meeting he was in--he was so kind and agreed to give me 15 minutes, so I was thrilled and in my hurry to not waste his time I plugged in the mic, hooked it on him, TURNED IT ON, but didn't double-check with earphones to make sure it was recording (I guess I didn't push the cord in all the way or something??). So we finish the interview, which was amazing-- he is such a kind and compassionate man, had some wonderful things to say about community health and was just a great interview... except that when I went back and rewound the tape there was NO sound. NONE. I managed not to cry.

** BUT, as I was leaving the clinic thinking I had what I needed, there were a bunch of nurses/medical assistants sitting around chatting by the main desk. They looked really nice so I asked if anybody wanted to go on camera for me... I told them the piece was on teen pregnancy and one of them goes "ha I can tell you about teen pregnancy!" I couldn't believe my ears: turns out she had actually BEEN a pregnant teen in the 90s, and she was completely willing to go on camera, tell me her story, laugh about all the crazy things that happened to her as a 15-year-old mom... She was GOLDEN. She was full of spunk and had so much to say and gave such a warm, personal aspect to the story.

I want to pull out my hair at the fact that the director's audio was killed, because it could've been so much better with two interviews--never mind the "authority" that it would've leant to the story--but I can definitely say I've learned my lesson.

If you want to watch my story, it'll air on BYUTV tomorrow (thursday) at noon. Wish me luck!


  1. Lydia, I'm proud of you! I'm sorry there were several mishaps :( But it can only go uphill from here! Way to go! Gros bisous