There are both good things and bad things about waking up a 3 a.m.
First off, it’s cold and quiet and pitch black outside. To be able to wake up so early also requires going to bed an hour or two after dinner. My stomach doesn’t know when to be hungry, and there seems to be no place in my schedule for going out and having a life.
The good things: There’s no traffic, and it’s nice to be the only person on the road. I get off work early and still have my day. And interning at a television station is, I think, worth losing a little sleep.
Today was my second day interning at Citytv. I started at 5:30 a.m. and watched what goes on behind the scene, and basically how the show gets put together. At one point, I got to stand several feet away from the news host, positioned so I could see him and the monitor he was reading off of. Had I been a foot to the right, my head would have been in the shot.
I sat in on a board meeting, where we went over next week’s content line-up. I also got to talk to several people about what they do: I’m trying to soak in everything.
Tomorrow, I get to tag along to an event where one of the hosts will be broadcasting live.
While at work, I got some exciting news. On a whim, I had decided to apply for a practicum course with the University of Athabasca. It’s a two-month online course about journalism in conflict zones. Only 10 applicants are accepted, and are required to have a minimum of three years experience in broadcasting: I have two years of education based primarily in print journalism.
Now for the really interesting part: The course includes a three-week practicum on a military base in Alberta. The 10 selected students get to work with two veteran journalists with experience in foreign correspondence as they follow the military through games and war simulations. From what I understand, there are Afghan villages set up, and the students endure the elements, interview “villagers” and soldiers and put together a 6 p.m. broadcast at the end of each day. It is physically demanding and requires a lot of work.
I’m almost positive my parents never thought that one of their daughters would one day ship off to join the army.
Surprise, surprise: On April 29th, I’m flying to Edmonton to live on a military base for 21 days.
After two relaxing weeks off from school, I began the second half of my four-week work experience today with Citytv’s Breakfast Television. (I had earned two-weeks worth of credits when I interned with 24 Hours Vancouver back in December.)
This time around, my internship experience was completely different.
For starters, I woke up at 4:20 a.m. to get to the Vancouver station for 7 a.m. Apart from taking a wrong turn, I didn’t get lost, and I found free parking just over a block away.
I watched the show for two hours (it runs from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. every morning) and learned a bit about the production process. I got to sit in the production room with the producer, director and the dozens of feeds from various cameras on- and off-location. I also spent time on the floor with the floor manager and camera crew while the show was being filmed.
After that, I had a tour of the building before setting out in a Citytv van to shadow a reporter and cameraman on an interview for a feature story.
Overall, it was an incredible experience and I enjoyed every bit of it. Because I don’t have any television broadcast courses at school, it was great to be able to just sit and watch the pros do their thing.
I have two full weeks at Breakfast Television, and I can’t wait to learn more. But the hours will be tough: I start at 5:30 a.m. tomorrow, meaning my alarm is set for 3 a.m.
Tonight, I will be going to bed pretty much right after dinner.