Journalism on the go at KECI-TV

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By JIANG YIYUN

If I can only use a short phrase to sum up my experience in KECI, I would definitely recommend the French phrase “C’est la vie,” which means “This is life.” It contained thrilling new challenges and flat daily routine. The reporters with whom I worked met challenges such as stories that fell apart and pressing deadlines, but they all sailed through the impossibles.

One cool experience I had was sitting besides the KEIC anchor Steve Fetveit during the newscast, because the camera couldn’t take me in in terms of angle.

The first day I followed Matt Gray, who works on weather reports on weekends and weather-related news on weekdays. After talking with his supervisors, he decided to do a story on changes in regulations for firefighters, and we went to the Aerial Fire Depot, a facility by the airport that serves people who fight wildfires. Unfortunately, we couldn’t meet with any supervisor, and the key man didn’t call us back.

What surprised me most is that when Matt told executive producer Cyndy Koures about the problem, she told him to change the story’s subject immediately instead of chasing his first idea. “Let’s go!” he said as soon as he knew his next subject: a story about skin cancer.

The second day I met a truly kind girl named Andrea Olson, who taught me how to handle pressure. Although we had done two interviews in UM without any problems, and did the editing all afternoon, we still had to hurry to finish the story before the deadline because the story was complicated. We finished just 10 minutes before the show started.

The KECI staffers are all superheroes in my heart because they all do the news alone. That is to say, they have to carry the camera and tripod, drive anywhere, write the script, edit the package, and appear live sometimes for the show. Everything must be done in one day, or to be more precise, in 8 hours, from 9 to 5. That is the job of a journalist in the 21 century.

“You can’t tell your viewers ‘I can’t do it,” because those people depend on you,” Andrea said as she walked me out of the door at the end of my unforgettable job-shadowing. “Keep in mind time management and never be afraid.”

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