Missouri Earth Day 2010 Draws Thousands

Last Friday morning Mother Nature cleared away the rain, parted the clouds, and brought out the sun letting kids from all over the state gather on the capitol lawn for Missouri Earth Day 2010 to learn a little bit more about her. As for me, this would be my last reporting shift at KOMU for my broadcast two class.

For my last reporting shift, I decided to take a more proactive approach in finding a story ahead of time. I found a few different stories I felt would work and got in contact with sources I thought would be able to help me. Unfortunately all these stories fell through. When I saw they were holding an Earth Day celebration at the capitol I decided to ask the assignment editor if I could do this story for a couple of reasons. Mainly I was really hoping to work on the basic skills of putting a package together (instead of throwing one together) and working with nat sound.

Everything went well at the event. The biggest problem I had was the sun and the clouds were constantly changing. This meant I really had to pay attention to the ND filter and at times where the clouds were really dark or I was under a dark tent, I had to pay attention to the gain. This really taught me about how hard you have to pay attention to the camera settings so you don’t get too bright or dark of video.

I really enjoyed talking to the kids as well and was very surprised how well they answered my questions. The only problem I had was how much they swayed. I found some great soundbites when I got back to the station, but couldn’t use them because half their head would be cut off on a standard sized television. Next time I will center them more in the camera and ask them to try and stand still.

When I sat down to write the story I knew there were plenty of opportunities to make this package fun and filled with nat sound, but I couldn’t quite get in the mind set and find a way for everything to fit together to make sense. I really struggled with organizing the story and coming up with creative things to say. This story could have had some great conversational writing in it and I clearly didn’t achieve that. I learned I really need to work on better organizing my stories. Once I have that the creative writing part should come easier.

When thinking about how I wanted to write the story, I wanted to use the girl who wrote the slogan as my CCC. During her interview she said a lot of interesting things and showed her passion for nature. When I tried to begin with her, or move her further up in the package I felt she was more of a distraction to the story than helpful. I’m hoping to learn how to get better at using my CCC in a story like this to help focus the story.

From this reporting shift, I learned until I get better at finding a central focus for my story, shooting, interviewing, and writing my story I probably won’t be satisfied with any of my completed packages. With more practice in B3, I hope to keep working on the basics and then finally work on all the little things that make a package great!

To read the web story on KOMU.com click here or view the video below:


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