What it’s like in the newsroom when the weather gets crazy

(Photo courtesy Tony Holdaway)

Monday started off like any normal day in the WAVY newsroom, that is until a tornado warning was issued miles away in Dare County and our inboxes were flooded with weather photos from our viewers taken all over North Carolina.

I put together a slideshow using the photos, which were rolling in so rapidly via e-mail and Facebook that I could barely keep up. I also needed to make sure the viewers were properly credited for them.

(Photo courtesy Brenden Rawls)

We got some great shots, including some with as many as three visible waterspouts. The slideshow totaled to almost 100 pictures, and that’s not including all of the other submissions we had.

If things get this crazy when there’s severe weather in North Carolina, I can only imagine what it’s like when closer areas are hit. I enjoyed seeing how enthusiastic some viewers were to send in their photos and videos.

I also learned the importance of teamwork, and appreciated Christine, a WAVY newsroom assistant, who gathered some photos on a flash drive for me when I needed help.

Check out the pictures that our viewers took in the gallery.

Wave of the week

This piece of advice is more geared toward writing. After I wrote a story about mosquito spraying in Hampton, I talked to Kevin, one of the digital content producers, who looked over it. The city sprayed for mosquitoes in multiple neighborhoods. In the original lede, I listed each neighborhood, and even to me, it seemed like a bit much. However, I thought it was necessary to list them there so people knew from the very beginning where they’d be spraying.

Kevin suggested putting them in the next graf. He said:

You kind of want to write it like a conversation and follow up on it. You don’t want to put too much in the very beginning.

Basically, it goes like this:

Me: “Did you hear about this?”
Reader: “What’s going on?”
Me: “The city is spraying for mosquitoes.”
Reader: “Where?”
Me: “They will be spraying in these neighborhoods.”

When you’re speaking to someone and you receive so much information, it can become overwhelming. The same goes for reading. You need to catch the reader’s attention and get the important information out. However, the story should flow naturally, and the reader shouldn’t be overloaded with too much information to process.

Since starting my internship, I’ve become a lot more confident in my writing, especially when it comes to ledes. Some of the content I’ve covered here has allowed me to have some fun with my ledes, like the stories I’ve written for hrScene! I look forward to writing more and improving my writing during the remainder of my time here!

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