Miller Charmaine

Charmaine's adventures in news writing and editing

Diary Week 1: Editing Madness

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Arriving in typical Charmaine fashion, I am posting this just a handful of minutes before deadline. But it has been one of those weeks, I assure you.

This was the first week of not only my five-hour shift in the Integrated News Facility, but also at my new editing job at Smokin’Notes. And I returned to my semester-old gig copy editing at the Alligator two nights a week. I’m not good with arithmetic, but of this calculation I am sure: I spend hours editing each week day. I have found a weird position where I edit for love, I edit for money, I edit for school credit. I actually didn’t think these motives would coincide, but I’m glad in my last semester of college they are beginning to.

Let me recall my first INF shift Monday. I arrived at 8:29 a.m. to a practically empty newsroom, said hello to my friend Samatha Shavell and introduced my lost self to Professor Forrest Smith. I actually don’t know if he’s a professor, but I would like to ascribe respect to his title. He told me where to take a seat, and because I am horrible with oral directions, I sat at the super desk, unaware that it was for important people, not me. It was when the important people, like Professor Sheehan, started to arrive and fill the spaces that I realized I was the only one who did not really belong, but no one said anything.

For the first hour and a half or so, I was excited to be sitting in such a professional atmosphere, seeing students record TV clips around me and listening to the radio people at work. I was also very lost and very concerned with looking like I knew what to do. I read the follow sheet. I read over some of the stories WUFT had done  that weekend.

Things really got started when my assignment editor, Christina, came. She helped me and the other anxious students relax a bit as she showed us around the newsroom and introduced us to radio and TV students.

At 9:30 a.m. we went to the story idea meeting with the TV students. They had some great ideas, and it was interesting to see them at work and doing what they love. I, unprepared, did not contribute an idea at that point.

After the meeting, I glanced over the assignment board with Christina and fumbled around listening to some radio footage of a story I could possibly do an online write-up for. Tasks were still very ambiguous to me at this point.

What happened next that kept me busy for two and a half hours happened by pure accident. Ben, a radio student, came up to me as I was simultaneously sitting obliviously and oh-so-importantly at the super desk, asking me to do an online for the raw audio interview he had done with a sheriff’s office spokesman about a shooting the night before. I didn’t think, I just jumped in.

Before I knew it, I was listening, researching and writing up a story to accompany the audio.  Then, per Christina’s suggestion, I kept in contact with Alex de Armas, the student TV anchor covering the story, who helped me get photos from the scene and included a great video clip for the whole Web package. It was fantastic. I loved working across departments, and I loved the feeling of being busy and having a goal.

After that long day of the INF and class, I came home to find this online:

And my name at the top! I was amazed at how it all fit together and how my fellow students continued to edit the piece and fact-check it for me when I had to leave my shift. What a wonderful way to end a confusing and busy day.

P.S. The time stamp at the bottom of this post is wrong, and I don’t know how to fix it. WordPress has stumped the computer-challenged in me once again. I did get it published a minute or so before midnight Saturday.


Written by charmainemiller

January 19, 2013 at 12:46 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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