As the summer is winding down, so is my time as an intern at WAVY 10. I will surrender my badge on Monday, although it honestly feels like my first day was yesterday. Going in to the internship, I was a little worried. I had heard stories from friends who spent their internship stuck in the shadows, sort of forgotten about by the company they were interning with. Within a few days at WAVY 10, all my fears lifted. I could tell that the internship program was a very well planned and structured process, and that I would almost always be a part of the action. I have spent only two short months at WAVY, but in that time, have gained so much. I have learned and mastered several skills, developed relationships with my co-workers, but most of all, I have gained firsthand insight into the overall innerworkings of a television news station. As the end approaches, I am compelled to look back and reflect on what a valuable and eye-opening experience my summer with WAVY really was.
Working in production, I don’t really have any visible examples of my work while at WAVY, however I can describe in detail the extent of what my internship consisted of. Throughout my time as an intern, I participated in many different aspects of a live news broadcast. My main duties were teleprompter and camera operation. I went in to work every day at 3:30.
When I arrived, I would begin by loading chyrons for the 4:00 news with the employee that I shadowed, Steven. To be completely honest, full understanding of chyrons and how they work still escapes me. However, I know that basically, chyrons are different servers that house various audio or visual elements repeatedly brought up in a news broadcast (supers, titles, intro music, etc.) After the chyrons were loaded, I would either go out onto the studio floor with Steven, or run the teleprompter in the control room (depending on the amount of available staff that day). Most often, I was out on the floor.
Throughout my time at WAVY, I did face several challenges. Hands down the biggest challenge I faced was dealing with the pressure of running cameras and teleprompter. Teleprompter operation at its core is not difficult, in fact it can be mind numbing, however there is a tremendous amount of pressure placed on a teleprompter operator. If the scripts are not being run through correctly, the anchors do not know what to/cannot read. Losing attention for even a second as a teleprompter can cause the entire show to crash and burn quickly.
Learning cameras on the other hand, was a challenge for a few reasons. Running cameras, unlike teleprompter actually required a certain amount of skill. The four robotic cameras in the WAVY studio were controlled by one person. I was able to grasp physical operation of the cameras fairly quickly, however it took much longer to memorize the camera moves, and general flow of various news blocks. Camera operation, much like teleprompting, was also very stressful. Camera operation is similar to teleprompting in the sense that the quality/smoothness of the shows is riding entirely on you. After a few weeks, I gained confidence in my abilities, and the stress begin to go away, however that slight sense of urgency was always with me (probably not the worst thing).
All in all, my time as an intern at WAVY was an incredibly beneficial and eye-opening experience. I was a little worried that I would be stuck fetching coffee, however, it was the exact opposite. WAVY’s internship program is well organized and structured. I could not have asked for a better internship and highly recommend WAVY 10 to future students seeking internships.