Wave FM Internship – Week Fifteen

 

Today was the last day of my internship in the Wave FM newsroom. The last fourteen weeks passed so quickly, and I can definitely say that I have learnt so much and have gained a lot of experience working with Rob Gooda and Dave Clark.

 

During my last four hours in the newsroom, I wrote an article on the brief opening of Bulli Pass, before it officially opens again in December, which you can read below. Rob was away this week, so I will email him to thank him for the awesome opportunity of working at Wave FM for my internship.

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This morning Dave saved my final reading practice recordings from last-week onto my USB, to take home. I have uploaded one of the recordings onto Soundcloud for you to listen to below.

For the first two hours, Dave and I spent most of the time talking about my next steps in pursuing a career in journalism, and gaining as much experience as I can. Dave used to talk about music on-air before working in the newsroom, so we were talking a lot about music too. He suggested that an awesome idea to keep practicing my radio voice would be to start a podcast, where I discuss music and interview bands. I was talking about Lady Ga Ga’s new album Joanne, and explaining to Dave how I believe her new album really shows her strengths as an artist. It’s raw, passionate and personal, plus her voice gets to shine more so than being overrun by production. The music has a real groove and funk vibe, which is definitely the influence of Mark Ronson, who produced the album. Dave was impressed by what I said and stated “That’s your first podcast right there”.

Dave also suggested that I keep up with my Music Mayhem with Mandy blog, where I interview local, national and international bands. He gave me tips on how to avoid bands who are hard to interview too. Dave then added that approaching local newspapers to write an unpaid music column for the experience would be good idea too. Overall, he was really impressed of my blog when he looked it up on the computer. Dave’s advice here was to interview bands and write gig reviews as much as I can in the local area; to make my presence known, and become the best in the area.

 

Once Dave left for the day I helped the 2ST journalist Nicole, by writing articles that she needed to have recorded and finished for the radio station. The way 2ST writes their news is a little different to Wave FM. Being a Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands station, their news focuses more on local stories, so I was finding sports news from the Southern Highlands to write into a two-three sentence paragraph article. I wrote two Sports articles for Nicole and saved them into the station’s folders on Newsboss.

Nicole had also recently interviewed a Wingecarribee Shire Council member about the Free Child Restraint Checking Day. I went through the interview on Newsboss audio, found a direct quote to use, edited out the breathing gaps, and then saved it as an mp3. I then listened back to the original audio, and wrote an article out of it in Newsboss. I then placed the edited direct quote mp3 into the story too, before saving it into the 2ST folder for Nicole.

 

I also talked to Nicole, and asked her how she came to work at 2ST and part-time at the Illawarra Mercury. She explained that she gained as much experience as possible through internships, and kept an eye out for casual job opportunities at both the radio station and the newspaper. So ultimately experience and applying for the place you want to work at when they have a position advertised is essential.

 

Overall, gaining experience and working with Rob and Dave in the Wave FM newsroom has helped take my writing and voice production to another level. Both Rob and Dave, through their advice and guidance, changed me from a shy soft-spoken intern – to a more assertive and confident intern. I can’t wait to start a career in writing and journalism. I will definitely be keeping in touch with both Rob and Dave in the future.

 

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Wave FM Internship – Week Fourteen

Today the Wave FM newsroom was a little crowded as we had another radio journalist working on articles for radio station 2ST in Nowra, so I spent most of my time working in the studio. The second last week of my internship has come so quickly, it’s hard to think that I’m nearing my end in the newsroom with Rob and Dave next-week.

 

This morning Rob asked me write a radio article about Labor’s announcement on Wednesday to upgrade roads and tourist destinations in the Illawarra. I managed to get that article plus others articles written quickly today, so my time-management has sped up. Once Rob read through it, he made only a couple of edits, and placed the article into the prep folder for Dave to use for one of the afternoon news bulletins.

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Rob then found another story in the Illawarra Mercury, that he wanted me to turn into a three paragraph radio article. This story was about the future plans for Killalea State Park. Again, once I finished the article, Rob reviewed it, made a couple of edits and then placed it also in the prep folder for Dave to use.

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Once these stories were completed, Rob asked me to practice reading one of the previous news bulletins. Thinking back to how my voice sounded last week, I really wanted to improve it. I recalled how one of my journalism lecturers taught me to deepen my voice and work on my inflections. Rob had also mentioned last week that I needed to make the tone of my voice not only authoritative, but also sound like I’m having a conversation with my audience. In the studio while practicing I focused on these ideas, and when I was ready, Rob recorded my reading. When we listened back to the recording Rob was very pleased. He asked if I had been practicing over the weekend, and said that my pauses, inflections, and the tone of my voice had dramatically improved; so much so, that he saved the recording.

Before Rob left for the day, he handed me a press release about a survey the Kiama community are undertaking to voice their opinions to the local council. I wrote this pretty quickly, and saved it to the casual folder for Rob to read later. You can read the article below.

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Once this was written, Dave asked me to write another article on the University of Wollongong’s study on over-the-counter medication.

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Lastly before I left for the day, I practiced reading in the studio for the second time, and saved the recording for Rob to listen to.

Overall, being the second last week of my internship at Wave FM, I’ve noticed how much my time-management has quickened, and how much I’ve enjoyed writing for radio. I’m very happy that my radio voice has improved a lot after taking in the advice of Rob, and remembering past advice from a journalism lecturer. Now that I have finally accomplished how to speak properly for on-air radio, I will endeavour to keep the quality of my voice at a high. I am really interested in a career in Radio, so, as I was advised by Dave, I am keeping an eye out on Radio Jocks Journal every week for a possible job opportunity.

Wave FM Internship – Week Thirteen

This week in the Wave FM newsroom, I worked more on Newsboss, writing articles and practiced reading in the studio.

 

When I walked into the newsroom this morning, Rob asked me to practice working on Newsboss, sourcing the news and audio from Newsmaker, and then saving the stories into a folder in Newsboss. Once I finished that quickly, Rob handed me a press release on the University of Wollongong and the announcement of their Molecular Horizons Research Centre. Rob briefly explained what the press-release was about, and how it had a lot of wordy scientific jargon. He wanted me to do the best I can at simplifying what is said and write it into a three-four paragraph radio article. This was a fun challenge as it meant really reading the information in the press-release to get an understanding of what is being said, to write it in a way that the radio station’s listeners would be able to understand. Once I finished writing the article, I saved it into the casual folder in Newsboss for Rob to read.

In-between writing, Rob talked to me about my future in journalism. During our discussion, he explained that he thought my radio voice would be suited for a young audience radio station like the ABC’s Triple J. This was an awesome compliment, as I have thought about applying for the ABC’s yearly Cadetship.

After writing the article, I then went into the studio to practice reading previous news bulletins. Once my read was recorded and Rob listened back to it, he said that my production was good, but I still needed to work on my inflections. I then practiced reading in the studio some more, and when I was ready, Rob recorded my read again. This time I decided to deepen my voice and really remove any inflections. When we listen back to the recording this time, Rob was happy with my production and my inflections. Rob said that I sounded much more serious and authoritative. All I needed to focus on now was speaking in a more conversational tone.

Lastly, Rob read the article, and was happy with what I wrote. He explained though that, what I had written was something more for an ABC radio audience of 50 years and above. He then wrote a more simplified version of the story to demonstrate how you could write the article for a younger audience – something you might hear on Triple J. Rob said you need the Wow! Factor for younger audiences.

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Overall, today was very insightful, as it allowed me to learn more about writing for different demographics. During studying journalism, I learnt to write more serious and mature articles in my subjects. It was awesome to know that I have the capability of writing for listeners in their 50s and older; and it’s great to know that I can write articles in a more creative and captivating way for a younger audience, instead of always keeping to a rigid formal tone.

Wave FM Internship – Week Twelve

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Working in the Wave FM newsroom at five in the morning. 

Working in the Wave FM newsroom this week was different compared to the previous eleven weeks. Today I woke up at 3am in the morning, had breakfast and got ready to drive over to Wave FM at 5am. Waking up that early was experience in its self! I commend anyone waking up that early for work. Today I worked in the newsroom from 5-9 am.

Once I got to Wave FM in Warrawong, I quickly rang up Rob to let him know I was there. Rob starts work every morning at 4am, and at that time the radio station’s front door is kept locked. After he walked downstairs to let me in, we went to the newsroom to start working.

 

From 5:30 until about 9am, Rob puts together hourly and half-hourly news bulletins to read on-air; so for the first two hours, I observed how Rob sources news for both bulletins.

In the morning, finding news to read is different from the rest of the day. Breaking news is only really starting to be released, so Rob sources more local news at first before national. Looking at other local stations that are linked to Wave FM via Newsboss, Rob found a couple of stories to add into the bulletins. He also wrote a couple of articles on stories sourced from newspapers like the Illawarra Mercury and Sydney Morning Herald. What is cool about this, is how it shows that traditional media hasn’t totally died off when it comes to finding news at the start of the day. Maquarie Radio also started sharing national news stories on Newsboss and Newsmaker, so Rob chose articles suited to the radio station’s listeners for the bulletins.

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Selfie with Rob Gooda in the newsroom. 

In the bulletins there are also short advertisements that are read on-air to introduce the sports news and the weather. The Wave FM staff send the current advertisement to Rob via email, which he then adds into the bulletin. Rob then found out how much the petrol was for the day to add into the morning bulletins’ Fuel Watch section.

About ten minutes before the hourly news bulletin, a traffic journalist reporting Sydney and the Illawarra’s traffic conditions from a helicopter rings Rob up to give him the traffic updates. Rob recorded the phone call via Newsboss audio, which he then edited and normalised, before saving and adding the mp3 into the news bulletin. Lastly Rob sourced and added the weather conditions for today and over the weekend into the news bulletin, before heading into the studio. In the morning all this process, from what I observed, is repeated very quickly from the half hour to the hour. The newsroom at the start of the day is much more fast-paced than the afternoon.

Over the next couple of hours after observing what Rob does to organise the half-hourly and hourly news bulletins, I went onto the other computer in the newsroom and began to quickly source the news and audio from Maquarie Radio on Newsmaker, and added it into the next bulletin’s folder. Once Rob finished writing other articles, he went into the folder and chose which article he wanted to use in the bulletin. I continued to do this for the half-hour bulletin and hourly bulletin until I left for the day. I also kept an eye out on other stories on Newsboss that I thought might be good for the next news bulletin. Whenever I found one, I let Rob know what it was about, how it might interest the radio station’s audience, and told him where it was located for him to find. Lastly before I left, I practiced reading in the studio.

 

Overall, at the end of the day, I was fairly tired; but it was an accomplished tired, not a zombie tired. What was great about working early hours of the morning this week was how it proved that I can work under-pressure even when I’m tired. It’s weird, but I liked working in the early-hour fast-paced environment of the newsroom. Today is definitely one of my favourite weeks so far at Wave FM.

Wave FM Internship – Week Eleven

 

Week eleven in the Wave FM newsroom was another day full of articles, along with time-management and reading practice.

 

Working on Newsboss, I sourced radio articles from Newsmaker, plus downloaded their accompanying audio, and compiled them into the next hourly bulletin folder for Rob. Getting the articles together with their audio quickly allowed me to continue working on my time-management skills. Once they were all in the folder on Newsboss for Rob, he looked over them and chose the articles, along with the sports news he wanted to use for the next news bulletin.

 

Going into the studio to practice my reading for the week, I worked on my inflections and pauses. Once we listened back to the recording, I managed to get the pauses good near the end of the bulletin, but was a little quick in reading near the beginning. Rob explained that I sounded more relaxed in reading once I got the sports section, and that I need to have that same sound at the beginning too. Other than that my production and pace was good.

 

What was a massive achievement today was having one of my articles read on air by Dave on the 2pm Wave FM News. After I had practiced reading in the studio, Rob asked me to write an article about the court-case involving Wollongong and Shellharbour Council. Dave had told Rob about the two-minute writing challenge he set for me last week, of which they both decided to give me a 10-15-minute challenge for this next article. Once I wrote the article in-between that time frame, Dave and I read through it and edited it together. Once it was completed, Rob had a read through and was happy with it. He then moved it into the 2pm folder for Dave to use.

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Once Rob left for the day, I practiced reading one of the previous news bulletins in the studio again, recording and saving it for Rob to listen to later. I then went looking online for news to write radio articles on for practice. I wrote one on Wollongong restaurant, His Boy Elroy and another on the Wollongong Hospital surgery waiting list.

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Earlier today Rob organised for me to start earlier next-week, so that I can experience what it’s like in the newsroom in the morning, when you prepare half-hour and hourly news bulletins. So in week twelve I will be starting at 5am in the morning and finishing for the day at 9am. I am very excited to be in the newsroom in the early hours of the morning next-week, though I believe I will possibly be a zombie by 9am.

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Lastly it was such an awesome moment to hear an article I wrote being read on air by Dave on the 2pm news bulletin. It was such a great confidence boost to think that my writing was on-air-ready for listeners to hear. Through the weeks I have done my internship in the Wave FM newsroom, Rob and Dave have helped me believe in myself and my writing. There are many people that cross your path that encourage you to be your ultimate best, and they are definitely two of them. I will always be grateful.

Wave FM Internship – Week Ten

This week in the Wave FM newsroom I continued to work more on Newsboss, writing articles from press releases and police reports, along with practice reading of news bulletins in the studio.

 

In the morning I recorded audio from Sky Radio, and practiced sourcing the articles from Newsmaker, a media website that essentially gives you all radio news like Newsboss. I then edited and normalised the audio in Newsboss Audio and pasted the mp3s into the casual file in Newsboss and placed them with their accompanying articles. Though I pretty much have this method down from weeks of practice, it is now more about making my time-management faster. In the Newsroom Rob and Dave have to create a bulletin for the hourly news, so finding and writing newsworthy articles quickly is essential.

 

After I finished collating all the news into the casual folder in Newsboss, Rob handed me a police report about a man acting indecently on a South Sydney train. Like last week I had to really simplify what was being said for listeners to understand. Police reports can be very wordy and have a lot of police jargon too, so keeping that in mind I wrote the article, which you can read below.

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I then went into the studio to practice reading previous news bulletins. When Rob and I listened back to the audio, Rob explained that my projection was good; adding that all I needed to focus on still was my pauses, so as I don’t sound like I’m running out of breath, and my inflections. The pauses in reading, he added, comes with years of practice. Rob said by putting an ellipsis in-between words in the news bulletin articles, it will help with pauses. This is a trick Rob said he used when he started out.

 

Before Rob left for the day, he assigned me another article to write on the Innovation Campus, by reading the press release and listening to the accompanying direct quote audio of Illawarra Parliamentary Secretary Gareth Ward. This was a fun challenge, as it meant writing an article out of the direct quote. You can read the article below.

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Once I finished writing, Dave got me to practice reading again in the studio. He then recorded my reading, which I saved for Rob to listen to later.

Before it was time to leave for the day, I wanted to write another article. Dave suggested to write an article about transportation and the closing of Bulli Pass. He then gave me a challenge of writing it in two minutes, and have it ready by the time he was finished reading the 2pm news on air. I accepted this challenge and successfully wrote the article and saved it before Dave finished reading the news in the studio, which he was impressed with. What was great about this challenge that Dave set for me was that it demonstrated and proved that I could write quickly under pressure. I now know that I am set for a fast-paced working environment.

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Overall today was fun and challenging. I never thought I had it in me to write that fast, which is awesome. It has boosted my confidence in my writing even more.

Wave FM Internship – Week Nine

This week in the Wave FM newsroom I worked on writing more radio articles, which included writing about local stories sourced from press releases and police reports.

 

The first story I was given by Rob to write was from a press release which talked about how new highway patrol cars are to be introduced onto NSW roads, including in the Shoalhaven. The press release listed the areas that would get the new cars, and Nowra was one of the places mentioned. When writing the article, I focused on how NSW was introducing these new patrol cars; which you can read below in the bottom part of the photo.

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When I showed Rob the article, he was happy with what I wrote, but explained that it needed to have a local angle to appeal to listeners. Going back into the studio, where I was writing in Newsboss, I edited the article and focused on Shoalhaven.

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Following the article, I went back into the studio to practice reading a previous news bulletin. After listening back to the recording with Rob, he explained that my production is good, and that what I need to focus on now is my pauses, to make sure my reading pace isn’t too fast, and my inflections.

 

Before Rob left for the day, he handed me a police report on a car chase in Albion Park to turn into a three paragraph article. Rob, Dave and I also took a selfie today, which you can see below.

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Selfie with Dave Clark and Rob Gooda.

Writing an article out of a police report was fun and very challenging, as I had to read through the police jargon and the wordy description, to then write the facts in a more simplified way in the article. Once I wrote the article, Dave opened it up in the casual folder on his computer and we went about editing it. He explained that I could simplify the story even more by writing that the Lake Illawarra Police charged a man, instead of saying that a man was charged by police. We then focused on how the man’s car smashed into the rear of a police car, and cut out parts that weren’t needed. By making the article more concise, it explained the story easier. Dave explained that police reports were difficult for him at first, and that it’s all about eliminating the jargon and finding the most-simplest way of telling the story for listeners to understand.

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The last article I wrote for the day was on a press release from Warrigal, which was about employing local workers. Remembering the advice, I received from Rob about the article I wrote in the morning, I really localised the story so that it would appeal to listeners. You can read the article below.

 

Lastly, Dave and I discussed where I wanted to go media wise in my career. I explained how I’m interested in all platforms of media whether it’s print, online, television or radio; but from over the last few weeks of experiencing the radio and newsroom work atmosphere, I would really like to pursue a career in radio. Dave then introduced me to two websites that frequently keep you up-to-date with radio job opportunities.

 

Overall the idea of working in a fast-paced media environment that has an immediacy in news, like online media, is very appealing. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for radio positions from here on in.