Sat in the newsroom on the morning of a bulletin, which is what I'm doing now. There is an element of panic. Although everything always ends up running smoothly in the end, and our viewers see the calm veneer of what we produce; we let ourselves fall victim to the frenzy of a Wednesday morning.
This comes about by factors such as not enough news packages. One Wednesday saw WINOL have a total of only two news packages, as three pm rolled around, we had a total of three. On the verge of calling off the bulletin we eventually pulled it together and scrounged a news show out of what we had. Practice makes perfect and we have certainly had enough practice running around like headless chickens.
As fresh little second years, being added to the news team is almost like being chucked into the deep end-I wouldn't say it's filled with sharks because the third years have been more than helpful in helping us get started but there is always an element of learning on the job. Learning by mistakes and taking on constructive criticism.
Debriefs every Wednesday afternoon after the bulletin has aired show mistakes that, as the year progresses, we learn to spot and avoid ourselves. Mistakes such as where to place interviewees for appropriate backgrounds and audio. I'm not a news reporter myself, my role is Sub Editor, but watching the points made about the reporters news packages is still helpful for taking on board what not to do in a real job.
As Sub Editor my role is to take the reporters news, sports and fashion pieces and check them. Check them for spelling mistakes or even legal problems which could potentially create a law suit against the university. No pressure then! To say our WINOL roles strain friendships could be argued as very true, as people chase each other up and get increasingly stressed as we all depend on one another to keep the programme running. The director needs the script, the script writer needs information from the reporters, the reporters need the computers to keep working! My extra job is also to run around on bulletin day and get times from the news reporters, cut the time by three seconds and put it on the script so the director knows when to cue the presenters during the show. As much as it runs like clockwork, it's all we can do to not bite each others head off as we all try and focus on our own role in the bigger picture.
But we manage to keep each other sweet and it's still not enough to keep us meeting up in the pub later (or even holding impromptu dance parties on a Tuesday evening). Small problems that we encounter can be fixed with the smallest thing, for instance better communication between the hierarchy. Audio problems and green screen problems will be found anywhere and instances such as that set us up for the real world, and a real job.
We do often sit down and wonder what it would be like to do a normal uni course, just merely have lectures and classes to attend rather than a nine to five job. Yet the feeling after the bulletin goes out and Cooper has had his post WINOL Galaxy Ripple, you realise how worth it it all is.