Producers' Blog

Newscast #4- Isaac Zivkovic- Fall 2017

In Greek mythology, a common favorite is the story of Icarus. A son of the great inventor Daedalus, Icarus was given to throws of passion when it came to his work. For those of you who may not know the story I will first take a moment to lament our ever-deteriorating public education system; and give you a brief synopsis. Icarus invented wings sealed with wax and, although warned by his father to not fly too close to the sun, became intoxicated with the freedom of flight. Before long he lost track of where he was and, sure enough, his wings were undone by the heat of the sun which sent him plummeting back to earth to meet his tragic fate.

With this metaphor clearly in mind, I want to take a moment to say that this Newscast was, in my opinion, still an improvement on the one before. We seemed to make the best of the packages and ultimately we did not fall to earth in a ball of fire and molten wax – so to speak.

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Newscast #3- Issac Zivkovic- Fall 2017

Another two weeks have come and gone and the newscast, I’m pleased to say, has come out still better than the one before. While I typically have some remark or comparison to deliver I have to say my diction falls short in this case. Many of those who struggled early on seemed to find their footing this time and others who were on the cusp of making show, finally found their way to the light. Even those who didn’t came a close second, making my role difficult in a new and less expected way.

The pitches at the news meeting have become a thing of pure instinct, it would seem. Like a well-oiled machine, everyone knows precisely what the expectations are and how to put across their ideas in an effective way. I would stop short of calling the process perfect but it is just one of the many ways we have collectively moved forward. Writing conferences went over, by all reports, with similar ease compared to the first two. This time the appointments were spread across 2 days which put a little more on Kassy Taylor’s plate but it was a task she was more than prepared to handle 

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Newscast #2- Issac Zivkovic- Fall 2017

          It’s hard to believe that 14 days have passed and our second newscast is in the books. A fortnight felt like a matter of a few days. I’m told a distortion of the sense of time is symptomatic of either very stimulating or very difficult events. I would submit that, in this case, it was some combination of the two.

          While I don’t need to recap the entire process, there were many parts of it that felt very different than before. I would say the most poignant feeling I took away from Newscast 2 was a sense of evolving – of turning the page as a team. Maybe this is just my former dedication to the study of history welling up, but I can’t help recalling the words of Winston Churchill: “This is not the end, this is not even the beginning of the end. But, perhaps it is the end of the beginning.”

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Newscast #1- Issac Zivkovic- Fall 2017

          When I ruminate on the first newscast of the semester I find myself irresistibly drawn to memories of the first scene of “Bambi.” I recall from an early age watching that little deer try to walk, knees together, wobbly and spinning sideways in what was more of a controlled fall than anything. This first newscast was not dissimilar – while we did not lose our footing we also weren’t the most graceful and frankly, I’m happy about that. If there were no room for improvement there would be little point to continuing down this path.

          I was very pleased to get some camera time last week and help Kendall Lewis gather footage for the Sunnyside Up story. The most difficult part for me was keeping up on the technical side once the interviews started. Kendall wasted no time diving into questions and creating candid moments that I was obliged to capture. I was equally impressed by the rest of the team out creating their packages and, most importantly, communicating. My poor beleaguered phone was overwrought with notifications on GroupMe, Twitter and SMS as reporters requested and offered help. That was a real testament to the work ethic of our team and I could not have been more proud.

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Newscast #10 - Jackson Lilly - Spring 2017

Another cycle of WVU News is coming to a close and my time to pass the torch to the next producer is at hand. Instead of the regularly scheduled pitch meeting, a celebration was held where everyone ate their fill at a breakfast banquet and thanked the people that they interviewed or helped them along the path of WVU News. This was very different from what had happened in weeks past due to the final show using packages that had put together from previous weeks. Everyone was free to work on their final portfolios as the final show drew closer.

The read through wasn’t too out of the norm. However, almost all of the on-air talent for this show I had not worked with before. So, figuring out their style and how to get the best out of them took a few runs, but after everything went smoothly. Since the script had a lot of movement, I had them in their positions and they worked on their delivery while moving. It took a little longer than most weeks because of that and that it is a special edition show.

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Newscast #8 - Ashley Rogers - Spring 2017

These past two weeks have been a whirlwind! In between preparing for show eight and the special edition show, we’ve been working nonstop. I know I say this about every show, but this show is now my new favorite. I really liked the script and filming was a breeze.  We had our news meeting, and as usual I jumped in filming standups. 

                         conference          Tessa

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Newscast #7 - Jackson Lilly - Spring 2017

For this cycle of WVU News the atmosphere was a little different. I am not sure if it was due to Group 1 being halfway through the shows or if everyone was just starting to focus on the last special edition show. But, everything continued just as it had in the previous weeks. The pitch meeting on Monday flew by and so did the Tuesday. However, Wednesday was when I was recruited to go with Reporter Casey Gentile to help her shoot at the Monongalia Sheriff’s Department. She was doing a story on the recently acquired body cameras that are to be worn by the on-duty police officers. I thought that it was a very interesting story and one that I was also a little curious about.


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Newscast #6 - Ashley Rogers - Spring 2017

This week I learned a lot! I think the experience we get with WVU News is so crucial because you are in real life situations and are able to learn and experience the real things that happen during a newscast. But first, let’s talk about this week. 

As always, I felt like everyone brought great story ideas to the news meeting. It’s as if the reporters are all in sync. Majority of the stories were related some way so it made it really easy to stack the show. 

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Newscast #5 - Jackson Lilly - Spring 2017

After we were finished recording show three, the talk we received from Professor Dahlia was a little different. Since we were heading into spring break after everything was recorded, everyone needed to have stories that would remain relevant over the break. Despite the lack of pitches that day, I was confident that by our pitch meeting on Monday everyone would have good evergreen stories to pursue. And on Monday, I was right. The reporters are getting better every time we go through the cycle and this week most only needed the first beat report and a few moments time to get their stories approved.

Even though the week lasted just as long as the one previous, with the break drawing closer, time seemed to drag for most of the team. But, everyone persevered and was able to turn in their packages on time Thursday and get ready for the week-long break. Just as the team was winding down, I was preparing my critiques of all the packages, figuring out the rundown for the show, writing and putting the finishing touches on the script. Even though the break meant that we would not meet until the 13th, I still had a deadline to make sure everything was ready when we got back.

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