Ron Burgundy: You stay classy, San Diego. I’m Ron Burgundy?
Ed Harken: Dammit. Who typed a question mark on the Teleprompter?
Luckily, this didn’t happen to me during my week of newsreading this past semester!
Our uni puts on a half-hour bulletin for 4-7 weeks each semester (depending on how many people enrol in the particular unit). Last year, I posted about my experiences in doing one of these units, producing stories for broadcast on radio and television.
For radio, the people on praxis present the half-hour bulletin. For television, however, people who have previously done the unit are invited to audition for the chance to be a newsreader for a week.
As auditionees, we were given the chance to work with professional voice coaches before the auditions to identify aspects that would need improving. Common issues include showing emotion at the right time, annunciation and reading at an appropriate pace. Small things that I guess, while watching a nightly bulletin, you wouldn’t really take notice of because they are (usually) flawlessly executed.
Anyways, after auditioning and waiting a few weeks, I found out that I had won a spot as one of the newsreaders for this semester! I’d be getting the chance to read at the desk and also present the weather.
At QUT News, we film the bulletin as if it’s live but a few hours prior to broadcast at 7pm. So we arrive at the newsroom at 3:30pm, read over our bits and head down to the studios by 4 to start recording a web bulletin and the main news bulletin. My co-newsreaders for the week were two beautiful souls, Amy and Claudia. We all grew quite close by the end of the week, sharing our travel stories in between recordings.
The week as a whole actually went by really quickly. When I think back, in my mind it’s really morphed into one big experience. Not to say there weren’t some memorable moments. From laughing around with our floor manager George, who also happened to celebrate his “21st” birthday that week, to joking about the pronunciation of words (George shared a story of someone newsreading the previous week who had pronounced “Grand Prix” as, well, “grand pricks”)
Funnily enough though, the biggest problem I had throughout the week was with my hair. It so happened that my hair was just long enough to touch the microphones we’d clip onto our jackets. The rustle as the hair brushed against the mikes kept interfering with the recordings. So, if you watch bulletins from Monday to Friday (links down below!), you’d see a funny progression of different methods we tried using in order to tame my hair. Wednesday in particular is quite funny to look back on. In between our news reading, while the individual stories were being broadcast, George would run up to the desk and go nuts with the hairspray.
In the end, I had to curl my hair to shorten the length of it. A bit of extra effort but it beat being constantly sprayed by hairspray.
Overall, another amazing experience that I will cherish. I’m keen to audition again for this semester, so we’ll see how it goes.
Oh, and here are the links to the web bulletins I recorded, plus many more! This is Monday’s – the rest can be found from there!