A multi-platform reporter’s day

Jacqueline Ingles says she is on continous deadline.  The 26-year-old works for KXAN News, the NBC affiliate in Austin, Texas.  Ingles says she creates content for the Web and television daily.

“My typical day involves starting the morning reading multiple newspapers both online and in print.  Then, I head into a morning meeting, typically via phone from my car or some random location, and pitch three story ideas for the day.  By noon, I am expected to have a preliminary Web script posted online including at least a few pictures. I usually write my script using my Droid phone and take pictures with my phone, too,” Ingles says.

After her first round of reporting, Ingles keeps working the story.

“Once I post, I get back to my story, interviewing, shooting b-roll and shooting my own standup.  I do not have my own cameraman and I also drive myself to and from stories,”  Ingles says. 

“If  I happen to go live, the cameraman will meet me at a location, but they do not shoot or edit for me.  Depending on the location of my story, I either head to the bureau or main station to edit. If those locations are not close, I upload my clips in the car to my laptop, log, track, write and edit, all while sitting in the driver’s seat.  Then, I either FTP my work, feed it in or upload it to the server from a computer at the main station.”

Now, she’s ready to get back to the Web.

“Before the story airs, I must have a new script with extended interviews and more information posted online. I commonly add more photos that I took throughout the day as well,”  Ingles says.

“Depending on available time, I also will leave the viewer with an option to learn more about the story.  For instance, I will write a “behind the scenes” blog regarding detailing what viewers did not get see on televison or direct my viewer to our Web site to see extended clips from an interviewee.”

Of course, the job sometimes requires Ingles to look “glamourous.”

“Now, should I be going live, you will find me curling my hair in the car (yes, my hybrid car has an electrical outlet) and putting my make-up on minutes before on-air time,” Ingles says. 

“Once my deadline is met, I have to cut a vo/sot for the 9, 10, and AM shows.  I try to include different sots to keep the story fresh for viewers and never recycle bites unless they are very emotional and striking.”

But there’s still work to be done.

“I conclude my day by sending a follow up file to the entire news team (reporters, photographers, producers, etc) via email detailing my findings, providing contact information for my interviewees and tell them what angle I think could/need to be pursued in the future,”  Ingles says.

Working in TV news today is defnitely not for slackers.


4 comments for “A multi-platform reporter’s day

  1. July 8, 2010 at 1:10 am

    Great post! I, too, am a multimedia journalist. I work for YNN in Syracuse, NY, but I’m stationed at the Elmira bureau. We are required to post our stories to the web, but the scripts from our vosots and packages are just copied and pasted onto the site. YNN is a 24-hr cable news station, owned and operated by Time Warner Cable, so there’s no set “deadline” for our stories. However, our goal is to get the news on-air before our competitors, who have to “wait” until their newscasts. Since we broadcast 24/7, we’re expected to get our news on-air 24/7. Though I don’t write, track, and edit on my laptop in the car, I drive myself around and shoot and edit everything on my own. I think it’s blog posts like these that make people who don’t work in the news industry realize how crazy our jobs are. But we’re definitely not slackers. And we also love it…because if we didn’t, there’s no way we’d be willing to do all that we do.

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