We’ve been reporting hard all day. The majority of the group is scattered across the digital media lab right now—most of us have headphones in, staring into computer monitors, doing slow rotations in our swivel chairs. The radio team is talking aloud to themselves, refining their radio voices and checking their sentences for clarity. The rest of the team is editing their respective video stories—three- to five-minute pieces on the local community. They’ve gotten most of the grunt work out of the way at this point, all the filming story-boarding; Tonight is all editing—shaving milliseconds off clips, snapping between b-roll and talking heads, and color correcting. And all the while there’s that incessant clicking: keyboards and mouses, endlessly clicking. Every few seconds, one of us exclaims something to the whole room, a triumph, a frustration. The longer the night runs on—seven o’clock, eight o’clock, nine—the more we’re prone to side-tracking with irrelevant conversation and jokes. We’re all exhausted, a little stressed, and having a ball.
Tonight is important as most of our assignments are due tomorrow evening: a book review, the video project, news stories, and more. But this is what sets WJI apart. We’ve pushed our reporting skills to the max cold calling dozens of leads, walking across town for interviews, writing up against deadlines, filming local business, recording and producing radio stories about tough issues—the list goes on.
We’re all getting incrementally better, thanks to the tireless instruction of gracious mentors...and it couldn’t feel better.