riding the airwaves

This week, I’m doing a radio praxis at uni. It’s all part of a unit I’m doing called Radio and Television, where we do four days of radio broadcasting and five days of TV. Both weeks we produce a half hour bulletin for a radio and television station respectively.

A typical day in our radio newsroom goes a bit like this:

8am: story pitch meeting, though everyone has arrived by 7:30
9am: the chaos begins – phones are ringing off the hook, stress levels peak and it’s hard to hear yourself think
11am: the subediting deadline a.k.a. the Strike of Doom
1pm: the on-air light turns on

DAY ONE
It went uncharacteristically smoothly. According to our APs (Assistant Producers – usually the final year students), at least one person broke down on the first day each week. Well, not this week! Everything came together, and I was able to file my story in right on time. As I was one of the first people to finish, I was also chosen as one of the two newsreaders who read the bulletin live to air!

fun times in the studio

My beautiful co-newsreader, Steph, had to go to the bathroom half way through the bulletin, but we’re not allowed to leave while we’re on air. Which pretty much left her dancing in her chair the whole time. It made for many memorable moments.

DAY TWO
I feel like I’ve spoken too soon. All my story ideas were taken at the meeting, which left me in the dark on what to do. Luckily, I was able to scrounge around for an idea soon after.

Despite my best intentions, I finished my story at 11:45. The silver lining in this situation, if you could call it one, was that everyone else was struggling as much as me. I guess the newsroom chaos the APs told us about decided it needed a break on Monday and chose Tuesday instead.

However, this meant that our ‘editor’ (either the lecturer or a tutor) didn’t get to see my story until 12:15, which didn’t leave much time to record and prep my story. Luckily, everything came together and I filed it in at 12:50. Extremely late, but better than nothing.

the newsroom whiteboard

DAY THREE
The quote of the morning: “This week has destroyed my soul.”
It’s 7:30 and most of us are in the newsroom already. We’re struggling for stories. Slow news day.

…but I’m glad to report that everything went MUCH more smoothly today than yesterday! It’s now 1:05, and we’re all listening to our morning of hard work. Bonding over the pain and the stress has made us grown a lot closer as a team.

the progress board (with the editor of the day)

DAY FOUR
And we’re done! Wow it’s been a crazy four days. Waking up at 5am. Scrounging around for story ideas each morning. It’s been extremely tiring, and just reaffirmed to me the fact that I’m not a morning person.

But the adrenaline rush of hearing your hard work on the radio just doesn’t compare to anything else.

Also, my story about multiculturalism was the lead story today! Having no one call me back after an hour of leaving voicemails, I was on the verge of changing stories. But I finally got two calls back at 10:30!

the notebook: a journalist’s best friend

I feel like I’ve accomplished so much more than I ever would this week. It’s been an incredible learning experience, and I’m incredibly blessed to be able to do such an amazing course at an amazing university!

But this isn’t the end. TV praxis in two weeks! Watch this space.

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Twitter: Β @missaprilchan

Instagram:Β @apess

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