Saturday, 26 March 2011

WINOL Reflection

After finally coming to the end of our first semester alone on WINOL, it's come to that time again to look back and reflect on everything we ever did wrong and publish it. Like a who's who and a what's what of our past six weeks of stress, frustration and hair tearing.

To be honest, I feel our time on WINOL without the third years could have gone worse. At the end of the day we are producing a bulletin every week complete with news packages, sports and good graphics. We always seem to have people on production which we never did last year and minor hiccups have been taken on board and reprimanded within the day.

The News Team have now got it all down in terms of framing interviewees and general shots of whatever their story is. Voice overs are clear and things are now getting to the point where there is no fear in introducing a cheeky pun (Sam Homewoods package about Marching Mums). There are no things such as white balance issues and overall I think the news team has become very strong and trustworthy with people like Andrew Giddings and Keiran Brannigan who seem to have a natural flair for it.

Sports of course is excelling. SportsWeek has hundreds of loyal followers and fans who never fail to watch or comment. It's the strongest area of WINOL and can stand on its own without the bulletin. I think this is largely down to Will Cooper at the helm as they have promoted and made connections in all the right places. They often get their packages down early which means they can spend time on perfecting areas like the title sequence-adding gloss to an already superb area of WINOL (and for me to say that about sport is unheard of).

The only issue, small though it may be, would be in the gallery itself. Although we have an extremely strong production team, for the first few weeks there were issues with people coughing during VT's which was picked up on microphones which hadn't been muted. For some reason as well this semester there seemed to be an extreme lack of talkback between the gallery and the floor which meant camera people had to cue presenters. Though these are minor hiccups they are the only things which if we got on top of, we would have a near perfect bulletin.
When it came to deadlines, we met them, but at a push. In terms of things like the script, it should be down to one maybe two people to decide whether it is good to go as opposed to other people coming over and making changes. Breaking news and script changes cannot be helped but when the script is due it won't do to have people coming over and putting in their opinion about how headlines should be written/said/typed. When it comes to their turn to write the script, they can then alter it how they see fit, but until that point, the script should be down to whoever is presenting the bulletin that week.

Subbing was of course a nightmare this semester. When the term began there was major confusion over who was in charge of what and why. When this finally got cleared up there was frustration from reporters about how their stories had been altered beyond recognition by subs, and sometimes filled with mistakes. This was finally all sorted out by changing how the site is handled. Editors are now in charge of their teams articles and publishing them as opposed to being handed to a complete different party.
This is a change for the better, and although I can see where reporters were coming from, they made it even more difficult by handing in articles at either midnight or 1am in which case by the time the subs woke up, they had no time to sub-edit it properly and get it up on the site before the deadline. The whole thing was not properly organised and the deadline in itself was unreasonable in regards to lectures we had Thursday morning.

In terms of people within the class I think there is a lack of communication and understanding between team members. Everybody's job is just as important as the others and no one is better and/or should be undermined. As well as this people should listen to each other and talk properly as opposed to immediately ranting. At the end of the day this is a course, not a career. Although I myself went through a phase of needing to remind myself that I'm not actually getting paid to work for Winchester News Online.

With a few more weeks practice I have every faith in us that we can achieve Soccer Saturday. It would be an incredible coup for us in terms of future work and practice for live television. It would be difficult and a lot more stressful than our "worry Wednesday" but I think it can be achieved and it's something we need to be passionate and put our all into.

After all "WINOL in this together!"

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