The special projects unit here at Channel 7-WXYZ is exactly what you’d expect; special. The staff members are hardworking, hard hitting and are always fighting for justice. But don’t let their tough exterior fool you, everyone here is caring and friendly.
The department consists of the Investigators, the Call for Action team and the Detroit 2020 unit. Each team is linked together with a single goal, to make our city a better place. Whether it’s exposing a corrupt government official or rebuilding a park, we’re on your side.
I work specifically with the Channel 7 investigators; executive producer Ann Mullen, producer Ross Jones, and reporters Scott Lewis, Heather Catallo and Bill Proctor. My daily tasks vary depending on the day. Sometimes I’m answering tip calls and researching potential stories, while other days I’m whisked off to the Wayne County 3rd Circuit Court to listen in on a hearing. When I follow the reporters and photographers on shoots, I even get to practice a few stand-ups myself. Then when we head back to the station I edit a story using Final Cut Pro and can use the finished product for my own personal demo reel.
The photographers I have worked with include Ramon Rosario and Johnny Sartin. They have given me great advice on improving my on-air delivery. I also received some excellent pointers from the special projects editors, Randy Lundquist and John Ciolino. I love to get everyone’s opinion on my work because each person brings a fresh perspective to a project. The guys never sugar coat anything, they tell me how it is!
In addition, I also work very closely with the Call for Action Team which includes reporter Bill Spencer and photojournalist/editor Chris Jones. Working with them, I’ve watched the crew go to bat for the little guy. The team works to help the citizens of metro Detroit who need assistance, whether it’s fighting a big corporation or just spreading the word about a charity. Specifically, Bill has exposed me to the world of a multi-piece stand up and what better way to learn than from the master himself!
I have many summer goals while here at the broadcast house. My first is to become proficient with the stations editing software; Final Cut Pro. I also want to hone my ‘on-air ‘skills which includes voice tone, body language, and having that conversational quality in my delivery. In addition, I would like to get more practice with the flash cam and reading from a teleprompter as well. And finally I would like to improve my writing so that I can be ready for a job a news station when I graduate.
From this internship I have a new found respect for the modern day journalist. The general public, I believe, has an incomplete understanding of what it means to be a TV reporter today. They think on-air reporters are people who just memorize a few lines for a live shot, but it’s so much more than that. There’s the development of an initial story, the research involved, countless interviews, writing a script, editing the story, and constantly updating the web with the latest information. A multi-media journalist does it all.
I’ve learned so much about the broadcast industry in the two short months I’ve been here. I can’t wait to see what the rest of my internship has in store.
Follow Savana on Twitter @SavCiav
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