Local News Service / Fox 29

The Internship Portfolio of Brian Donathan

My First Interview Required A Step Stool

Actually it was more like a ladder.
A week or two ago I had the opportunity to go out with one of the station’s photogs who was going to shoot video of a charity bowling event in New Jersey. The event was hosted by former Philadelphia Phillie Gary Maddox. Fox29 and NBC10 wanted some shots of the former Phillies and a few current players who were slated to be in attendance. This was to be my first actual experience of an LNS video shoot.
(Again, LNS is the joint venture between Fox and NBC where the two have agreed to periodically share video)
Half way to our destination, the photog’s phone rang and on the other end was the station’s sports producer. He said he wanted some sound bites from one if not two of the current players in attendance. This is where I came in. I took a few notes on what they were interested in hearing from the athletes, and picked up the Fox29 mic.
The photog was a tremendous help. He explained what he needed from me for his end, and we were off and running.
I interviewed relief pitcher Ryan Madson, as well as Eagles offensive tackle, Jon Runyon who just happened to show up prior to our leaving the event.
The video taken that night was a joy to watch. Both the athletes are much taller than me. Runyon is nearly 6’8″. I had to hold the mic about as high as my arm could reach.
Overall it was a good experience. I learned little things about where to hold the mic to get the best audio (no matter how high you have to reach to get it), and I learned how important it is to let the interviewee completely finish before you move on to the next question. These are basic principles, I know, but this experience hit home how crucial it is to keep these things in your mind while in the middle of the whole process.

February 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Learning the Newsdesk

As I mentioned before, I report to the newsdesk each day I’m at Fox29. As an intern in the newsroom I’ve had to quickly learn the station’s system of gathering, recording, and communicating news to the entire newsroom staff.
Part of this process deals with handling incoming calls, which can be anything from an on location reporter calling for one of the producers to a member of the public providing a breaking news tip.
I have learned how incoming news is both queued for further review, and how to personally follow up on stories that are incomplete. I have spoke with police captains, concerned citizens, disgruntled workers, and angry parents. The process is constant and always changing. To put it as mildly as I possibly can… I love it.
To be fair, there are times when the news is slow coming, and that can be a bit frustrating, but more often than not I am faced with a story or two that requires the deeper digging to determine what really took place. That is the joy of the newsdesk — piecing it all together so the producers can put it into words the anchors can relay to the public.

February 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Day One

The first day of my internship started off with a bang. I had no more than taken off my jacket and checked in with the assignment editor at the newsdesk (where I report each day), when a producer hustled me into the control room to run the prompter for the 12 o’clock news. Talk about being nervous! That little dial that scrolls the script along for the anchors is more temperamental than a hungry polar bear after 3 months of hibernation — one false slip and the words shoot by, leaving an anchor at a loss, and a producer in a foul mood. Luckily, everything went fine, and thirty minutes into my first day I proved competent enough to run a teleprompter. Nothing really worth bragging about, but a sense of relief nonetheless.

February 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Catching Up

I realize I’ve been severely neglecting this blog, but I’ll do my best to post — starting this week — on a regular basis.
I started my internship at Fox29 a few weeks back, and I’ve already had a handful of tremendous opportunities to do some interesting work. I won’t be able to remember everything for you day by day, but I will catch you up on a few of the more exciting details that have evolved thus far with a separate blog post for each little adventure. Enjoy

February 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment