Week 9 July 11-18, 2016
This week I got to help out with the Blackhawks Convention downtown. My duties mostly included holding the microphone during player interviews and assisting either the cameraman or the talent Jim Rose. This was perhaps the first time I was truly upset with the ban on interns asking questions. One of the Blackhawk players (Duncan Keith) played for a time at Michigan State, and for legendary hockey coach Ron Mason. Mason recently passed away this summer and I really wanted to ask Keith about his time playing for him and how Coach Mason contributed to his growth as a hockey player. I understand that it might not be that relevant to the Chicago market, but it would have been nice to have the audio of Keith talking about a legendary figure in the college hockey community. Perhaps the biggest thing I learned, or rather I was reminded, is that our job as journalists is first and foremost to the people. Rose had a difficult time navigating the convention due to numerous fans swarming him for autographs and pictures. He talked to everyone he could and never spurned a single autograph seeker. Jim is one of those people who, even though he has made it to the top he still remains humble and approachable to his audience. That is a quality I certainly want to embrace moving forward in my career. It was also a nice reminder that we tell stories and we do so for to entertain and inform the people.
I also learned the importance of getting a good cut-away and why it is important. Most stations just get a generic cut away of a coach or something, but getting a memorable cutaway makes the sportscast, and the sportscaster, stand out. This is one of the reasons Mark Giangreco is as successful as he is, because he makes his broadcasts memorable. This is something I will defiantly try to implement in my own career moving forward.
Week 10 July 18-24, 2016
Monday was another average eight-hour day. I logged two baseball games (Cubs and Sox) and helped out with Cubs post-game. A funny incident happened while I was in the clubhouse, while getting set to interview Anthony Rizzo (who had a huge game that afternoon), I got caught out in no man’s land between him and the cameras. I had to crouch down with the microphone so I was not in anybody’s shot! Thankfully my legs didn’t give out during the lengthy interview and we got the sound we needed. Whoever said journalism is a boring gig has no idea!
On Wednesday I got to help cover Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s charity boxing event. I met several people who worked with MLB Network and gained a new appreciation to how much work they actually do. One woman I talked to said that she had been to over 50 baseball games this summer, and this was just after the All Star break! The camera operator I was with was a little confused as to what we should shoot (it was a charity event after all) so I stepped in and recommended shots to her and pointed out people of interest. It was a nice change of pace to kind of direct the shooting of the event.
Saturday was uneventful but for the crazy situation with White Sox pitcher Chris Sale. Reportedly he did not want to wear the throwback uniforms the Sox had so he cut up his and several of his teammates’ uniforms so they couldn’t wear them. As a result he was sent home, but the story gained national attention. It was interesting to see the newsroom take a story that unfolded over time and see the producers and talent look at multiple sources, get several different versions of the story and constantly edit their script to adapt. It was trying at times, one minute we would have an idea of what happened and then new information would be revealed forcing a change to the script. It was very well handled and I gained a better understanding of how to handle a major developing sports story.