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.
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.