Wave FM Internship – Week Eight

 

14371919_10207381556710294_730212152_n
Where I write in the newsroom

This week in the newsroom I concentrated more on writing and reading, focusing on typing up as many three sentence radio articles as I can through the four hours and perfecting my radio voice.

 

In the morning when I sat down at the computer, Rob asked me to continue working on NewsBoss, so I went looking for a story I could write into a radio piece. I went onto the Illawarra Mercury’s website, and chose to write on the conflict between Labour and Liberal on the upcoming closure of Bulli Pass. Once I completed that, I saved it in the casual folder of NewsBoss, and Rob opened it up from his computer to read what I wrote. I was a little nervous about the repetition of “Bulli Pass”, but Rob said that it was ok.

He was happy with what I wrote, and he only made a couple of suggestions. I hadn’t defined which of the MPs were Labour or Liberal, so he fixed that, and also added in the sentence “the state government has been scathing in its criticism of the shutdown”, to really convey the tension between the two parties. You can read the article below.

14383334_10207381557070303_986419782_n

The next story I worked on was a press release that Rob gave me on the recent inspection of trucks and trailers that were discovered to be defective. When reading the press release you have to discern what quotes you want to paraphrase, along with finding the core of the story. In the article below, I used a fairly light quote. Rob suggested that a quote that is more serious would easily work in the article too.

14383343_10207381557030302_684348752_n-1

I practised my radio speaking voice three times today; two after writing the truck inspection article, and another in the afternoon. What is really great about practising reading news bulletins in the studio, now that I’m eight weeks into the internship, is how it’s now about fine tuning so to speak. After Rob listened to the recording, he was happy with the projection of my voice, and explained all I need to practice on is learning to have pauses in reading; so that I don’t sound like I’m running out of breath. I also need to work on adding inflections, so that I’m not just reading the news, but also adding emotion into what I say. With the third recording I focused on putting emotion and inflections into the stories I was reading in the bulletin. I then save the recording for Rob to listen to later.

I plan to practice reading more on my own time as well – to work on pauses and inflections, by reading short stories, and maybe poetry. Dave explained that reading the bulletin is like a performance. You need to make the news entertaining, so that your audience listens to you.

Before Rob left for the day, Rob left me a recording of a direct quote from Kiama MP Gareth Ward on NewsBoss audio, asking me to write another Bulli Pass article based off what Mr.Ward was stating. I had to pick one part of the recording to edit too, to save it with the story I wrote on NewsBoss. You can read the article and see the mp3 recording depicted below.

14355877_10207381556990301_260665529_n

Lastly, I worked on writing two more articles, for Rob to read later. One was on the live music scene venues in Sydney, and the other was about a water park project by a TAFE tourism student.

 

Overall it was great to write more radio articles today. I feel that my time management with writing is starting to pick up, and hope by the end of fifteen weeks, it will be even faster.

 

Advertisements

Wave FM Internship – Week Seven

On week seven of my internship adventure, I worked with Dave over the four hours as Rob went to a press conference.

 

When I walked into the news room, Rob had left me a letter on the desk detailing what he wanted me to work on during the day; which included working on writing a radio article based off a news story in the Illawarra Mercury and to practice my reading in the studio.

The article I worked on was about UOW’s international and national rankings this year. Really trying to focus on finding the guts of the story, plus writing it simply and concisely, I typed away in NewsBoss until Dave came into the newsroom at 10:15am. Here is the radio article I wrote.

14348668_10207369907699076_1750582848_n

Once I finished writing, I started finding news in NewsBoss, to practice making a mock-up news bulletin, and then found the audio on News Maker to pair it with the stories. News Maker is an online media website, with the same news you can find in NewsBoss, the only difference is that you can get the audio from there too.

14303902_10207369907619074_760047748_o
News Maker.

Earlier this morning before going to Wave FM for the day, I read the recent sports news on the ABC app, so that I understood what was the most prevalent news that day. This included stories on the Socceroos, the retirement of an NRL player, and the success of the Australian Cricket team against Sri Lanka. It was good that I did this, as it ended up helping a lot during the four hours.

When I went through the sports section of Sky’s bulletin, I was never sure whether I needed all the sports information or not. When Dave went over the bulletin I created in NewsBoss, he showed me how to start pinpointing and selecting what sports news is excellent to have in the bulletin. As Dave only has three minutes to read the news on air, he explained that he chooses about three or four sports news to add into the bulletin. He then edits where necessary, if the writing is too wordy, to make sure that it doesn’t go over the time limit too much.  The news he selected as relevant was the Socceroos, NRL and the Cricket, along with the AFL too. Once he showed me how to discern what sports was newsworthy, I practiced sourcing it out and editing the sports updates in NewsBoss, when I started creating new mock-up bulletins.

While making up a new bulletin, I found another local story on the Kiama Festival, to write a three sentence paragraph radio article. During the afternoon, I worked on making my time management faster too.

14341674_10207369907579073_83911126_n

Lastly, I practiced reading one of the previous Wave FM news bulletins in the studio, to keep working on my voice. Another difficult sports name came up again as I was practicing, so Dave helped me learn how to pronounce it. I stumbled over the name a few times, but once I started recording, I managed to read the name right.

 

What is great about being a part of a newsroom is that you start to become immersed in the news topics of the day. I also never thought I would see the day where I would start to become interested in reading about sports. It’s early days still, but I aim to become will informed in sports news.

14331113_10207369907739077_1559298958_n
Mock-up news bulletin on NewsBoss.

 

Wave FM Internship – Week Six

 

This week in the newsroom I worked on writing more articles and practiced reading the news bulletin again.

 

The first article I wrote was on the Fire department’s events to help prepare the local area for bush fire season. Rob handed me a 700-word press release, and I wrote a three sentence paragraph news piece out of it. You pretty much have to find the main core points of the news/issue being advertised and write only that.

14356132_10207369027597074_1178628637_n

I also worked more on NewsBoss in the studio – finding the hard news stories from Sky and editing audio to go with the radio scripts. Rob feels that my time management is getting quicker in how I get the articles and audio into NewsBoss, so that is good.

This morning I practiced reading the 6am news bulletin in the studio again. It wasn’t my best work today as there were a few pauses, and my pace was a little quicker at the beginning than usual. There are also a lot of sport celebrities that have difficult names to pronounce but with the help of Rob and Dave, I was able to double check if I was reading their names right. There was also a local story about ice, and reading methylamphetamine was definitely a little tricky.

 

Before Rob left for the day, he found an article in the Illawarra Mercury to do with the booklets Norma Hay sent out to her electorates, so for practice I wrote a three sentence radio story on that. From there I went back into the studio to practice reading my own mock up news bulletin.

14348697_10207369027277066_515866736_n

Dave listened to the recording and was happy with my pace and production. I had a little trouble pronouncing Nick Kyrgios’ last name when reading the sports on Tennis – but Dave gave some pretty cool advice as to how to make difficult last names easier to read. He said that writing out the names by how they sound (that I look at when I’m reading), it would make you less likely to stumble over them.

Dave also suggested that I read sports articles to get familiar with names that are frequently coming up in news sports, especially in the NRL and the cricket  – especially since cricket season is coming up.

Lastly, I kept working on story and audio editing in NewsBoss, along with finding a story online to practice writing a radio article. The piece I found was about how public primary schools in NSW are reaching capacity – as there are not enough classrooms to hold students and teachers.

14349174_10207369027397069_526023457_n

Dave read over the article I wrote, and was happy with how my radio writing is improving. He also suggested, for me to practice writing for the fun on the weekends too.

 

Overall it was an informative day, and it has inspired me to practice even more radio writing skills and reading skills in-between university assignments. I also plan to start reading the sports news on the ABC app on my phone, so that I know what’s happening in NRL, and other newsworthy sports.

Wave FM Internship – Week Five

Today was another fun and productive day in the newsroom. I worked on writing more radio articles, beginning with a story on a hold up in Kiama, sourced from the Illawarra Mercury. So far writing articles for radio are helping me be less wordy in my writing. My newsroom practice journalism subject helped me a lot in this instance too when I had to write synthesised articles for Wikinews and writing radio articles are improving how I write even more. I feel I did alright with the Kiama radio article I wrote, but I needed to make it sound more current and to the point.

14365351_10207368963915482_1981161837_n

I practiced editing audio and pairing it with the stories in NewsBoss, and today Rob showed me how to create a news bulletin, demonstrating how breaking news, local news, and sports is set up in the bulletin to be read. Today one news topic of focus in the bulletins was the return of the Australian team after the Rio Olympics.

14331719_10207369027357068_605762226_n
News Bulletin on NewsBoss

Once my news bulletin was complete, it was set up in the studio and I practiced my radio voice again. This time I decided to read a little differently by adding more personality and emotion into my voice, to give each story I was reading justice.

This morning, during breakfast, I read through articles on the ABC app to have an understanding of what news was of importance today, and one of the major news topics was the banning of Dog Racing in NSW; which ultimately was in the news bulletin.

Last week Rob said it is much better for me to be myself and Dave explained how to project my voice, along with projecting emotion into each story too, and to “be bold”.

In order for me to do this though, it meant that I had to bring out the Amanda that is usually hiding her confident side in her shell.

Once my reading was recorded and played back – both Rob and Dave both had positive feedback. Rob smiled and asked Dave “what do you think Clarky?”, and Dave replied that he was very happy with my voice and said it really showed that I worked on what he suggested last week. Rob says that I have improved a lot; and that in itself is a major confident boost.

 

There are many people that come into your life and leave a positive impact, and during these first five weeks at Wave FM, both Rob and Dave have really helped me take my journalism skills to another level, and are helping me bring out my more assertive side. I am usually a very soft spoken and shy person and this internship is helping me break this habit.

 

Lastly, in the afternoon I practiced putting together another news bulletin, from what Rob had shown me to do this morning. I also went searching for a local story to keep practicing my radio writing skills. The story I wrote was on the upcoming Wollongong Film Festival, which you can see in the image below.

Overall writing, practicing my radio voice and creating news bulletins today were fun and informative.

14341679_10207368952555198_860341910_n

Wave FM Internship – Week Four

ce1db281b00a42cc4f4b48f11b9146a0
Wayne’s World 1992, motion picture, Paramount Pictures, USA, directed by Penelope Spheeris. 

 

Week four was excellent; as Wayne and Garth would say. Every time I work in the Wave FM news room, I am learning more and more from Rob and Dave.

 

This morning I started off the day by working on NewsBoss and editing audio. Now that I’m getting used to using the software, editing articles and finding direct quote audio grabs out of the recordings on NewsBoss Audio, I aim to be quicker and more time efficient. In the newsroom, you have about 45 minutes to put together a news bulletin, so sourcing and writing articles at a reasonable pace is prudent.

Today on NewsBoss there is plenty of news about all the sporting events at the Rio Olympics; so besides politics and other breaking news, this news topic is very much in the forefront.

To keep working on my radio writing, Rob handed me a press release sent to Wave about how the Southern Highlands council plans to introduce a green waste bin for domestic households called FOGO, after Shellharbour started successfully using them in July.

Press releases are usually around 500-700 words long, so I needed to read through and find what was the core of the news given before compressing it into three sentence paragraphs. It was very challenging, and I really worked on being less wordy.

Dave had a look at what I wrote, and gave me constructive and awesome advice. He explained that you don’t necessarily have to write out every name and title written in the press release.  Finding the guts of the story and simply writing is the main objective. Dave also added “remember what Roxette says: Don’t bore us, get to the chorus!” Dave uses a lot of music references to give advise, which is awesome; and being a Roxette fan, I feel this is one phrase that I’ll never forget when writing articles.

14341772_10207368615826780_730090433_n
Dave Clark and I taking a selfie in the studio.

Both in the morning and the afternoon, I practiced reading news bulletins in the studio. When listening to the first recording Rob said that my reading pace was good, and that all I needed to focus on for the second reading was the production of my voice.

I read the bulletin in my own voice for the first time today too, instead of trying to sound deeper, as Rob explained that it’s always best to be myself. When listening back to the recording I was prepared to cringe when hearing my voice, but to my surprise I didn’t. Practising my radio voice last week and especially this week is really building my confidence up, and now I never have to feel self conscious about hearing my recorded voice again.

The second time I prepared to record again, I asked Dave how I should work on the production of my voice. He said to imagine that the computer wasn’t in front of me and that I was talking to a best mate instead, and said don’t be afraid to be bold. Both Rob and Dave mentioned the way actors on a stage project their voices during a performance. Rob said it comes from the diaphragm, and Dave said the same too, adding comically that if he couldn’t hear me reading from outside the studio room he would shout out “project louder!”

After reading the bulletin again this afternoon, Dave was happy with how I projected and said all I need to do next is to add tone and emotion into my reading. For example: by sounding a little more serious when reading deep topics and lighter with happier news. Dave explained this concept by saying: if you go to a gig and the band sounds bland throughout each song, you’re not going to be happy; but if they give a great performance throughout the set, the audience is going to love it. So pretty much the idea is to know and understand what you’re reading.

 

For next week I plan to read more national and local news. Dave said that the more I get familiar with news issues, it will be evident in how I read the bulletins.

Lastly, Dave and I took a selfie in the studio for the blog post and the journalist in the middle studio thought it was hilarious saying to Dave comically through the mic, “before I read the bulletin, I always take a selfie”.

 

Wave FM Internship – Week Three

This week I practiced more on recording and editing audio, putting them with their stories in NewsBoss.

 

At 11am Rob asked me to stand in the studio to observe what he does to set up and read the news bulletin in the morning. It was really exciting to see how the news is read live every hour. There are two computer monitors – one where Rob keeps an eye out for the current weather conditions, and the other is where the hourly news bulletin is set up. There is also a mixer that Rob uses to go on air and to play the audio that is in the news bulletin.

All the other studios are also visible via the adjoining windows. Rob, the journalist in the middle studio, and the other radio hosts in the far end studio all communicate to each other this way (on air and off air via the mixer) to discuss certain news topics. These topics are either sports related or breaking news – and currently the Rio Olympics is the main focus, along with some NRL news too.

14287570_10207354816721811_1256702223_n
Watching the Rio Olympics – one of the main current news topics.

 

Today I also practiced my radio speaking voice for the first time. Sitting in the studio, I worked on reading Rob’s previous news bulletin; and when I was ready, he recorded me from the newsroom.

Thinking back to one of my previous journalism subjects, it was advised to me that the way to make my voice sound less girly and more authoritative, was to deepen my voice and manage any inflections; so that I didn’t sound like I was questioning what I was reading. When I read through the news bulletin, I focused on these suggestions.

Once I finished reading, and we listened to the recording, Rob said that my pace and my voice was good. All that I needed to work on was the production of my voice, so that I convey emotion through the stories. Saving the recording, Rob said that we would compare how my voice changes, through practice and progress, over the next twelve weeks. I look forward to hearing that change, as my voice improves.

14328892_10207354816801813_1679497404_n
Practicing my radio voice in the newsroom studio.

Rob also uses newspapers, including the Illawarra Mercury and The Sydney Morning Herald to find local and national stories that may appeal to Wave’s audience. Rob asked me to read a local political piece, and to write in my own words three small paragraphs that can easily be read on the radio.

What was great about stretching my writing legs was that it gave me a much deeper understanding of how radio articles are different to print and online stories.

Most print and online articles are around 500-700 words, but radio stories are smaller and to the point. What I needed to do was find the core of the story – and write my own article on the news topic in three sentence paragraphs. It is very much a concise inverted pyramid.

 

Over all it was amazing to start practicing my radio voice. I love reading, and I look forward to hearing the change in my voice at the end of week 15. Writing radio articles was excellent too, as it is a rewarding challenge to write a news topic simply and concisely into three paragraphs so that it can be read on the radio.

Wave FM Internship – Week Two

In my second week at Wave FM, I started to learn how to work in the newsroom, which was very exciting after observing how everything is run last week.

Sitting at one of the computers, Rob showed me how NewsBoss works again, and asked me to practice finding stories that can be used in news bulletins. On NewsBoss, Sydney’s Sky News bulletin can be found. So what I had to do was find articles from there and put them into the casual folder of NewsBoss. Some stories can be a little wordy so I edited them, making them easier to read aloud. I practiced this a few times before I moved onto editing audio.

14281541_10207354592796213_203033957_n
Working on NewsBoss

 

Editing audio for radio articles was challenging and fun. NewsBoss Audio reminded me of when I used to use a music editing software called Cubase, except this audio software is much simpler to use. Having that past experience helped a lot though.

Rob showed me how to upload, edit and normalise (makes audio louder) recordings on NewsBoss Audio first, and then demonstrated how to export the edited audio and paste it into a news article on NewsBoss.

The recorded audio went with the stories sourced from the sky bulletin, so I practised getting the direct quotes from within the recording. If the quotes were too soft, I normalised them to make the audio louder, before saving it and pasting it into NewsBoss.

Once Dave came into the newsroom, I kept working on NewsBoss, and Rob showed me how to record from the mixer to NewsBoss Audio, so that I had news recordings each hour to practice editing with.

I had a little trouble learning how to save the audio grab after I selected what I wanted to use out of the recording. Dave showed me how to put the selected audio into its own section on NewsBoss Audio, and then from there it was easier to tidy up and edit the quote before putting it into NewsBoss.

Today Dave also showed me how he edits and writes articles based off what is said in the direct quote in the audio, making the story more concise for reading on air.

14330889_10207354588316101_529056869_n
Editing on NewsBoss Audio.

Overall I really loved becoming familiar with how to put articles into NewsBoss along with editing audio too, so that the stories are ready to be used in news bulletins. Reading the articles on NewsBoss was also great, as it helped me understand what news is viewed as important for listeners to hear on the radio.

I have learnt so much in one day, and I am looking forward to what I will learn next. In week three, I am going to start writing news articles, of which I am very excited about. Putting together stories for radio, and getting the chance to experience how the writing structure is different to other media platforms, is going to be a fun experience.

After I finishing today’s four hours, I was just as exhilarated about being a part of a newsroom as I was last week.