I belong to a group of seniors (over 50) who go on trips and take classes in our city. Last Thursday we went on a very interesting day trip called “The News.”
First we went to one of our local television studios to be the audience for their morning show called “Great Day S.A.,” a talk show sort of like the “Today” show. It was very interesting to see the behind the scenes workings of the television set. We got to see how the “green screen” of the weatherman works (it still boggles my mind how he can use that). The hosts had our San Antonio Spurs spokesman on to talk about the Spurs and also Jeremy Lin, who is big in the NBA as everyone knows right now. They did an interview via satellite with the model and editor of Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. There was also a piece on a local school college funding day when colleges and high schools would help students fill out financial aid forms. There was a Hollywood gossip section. And they had a segment I was particularly interested in. A player from our women’s basketball team the Silver Stars who has made the final team for the Olympics, but has a foundation called “Find Me” which helps find adoptive homes for older foster children.
After that, we went to our Texas public radio stations, which broadcast news and classical music. I enjouyed this part of the trip most of all. We learned how to digitally edit voice recording: delete and move around voice in a piece. We got to hear a reporter record her introduction to her piece for an interview she did with our Congressman. Then she would add his portion of the interview back at her desk and the piece would air at the noon news slot. We learned about how the daily playlist for the classical music station is generated (there’s an algorithm for it with some free space left for personal tastes). We talked a little about their fund raising drives and their websites that have branched into film as well. And they have an iphone app for Texas Public Radio!
We ate lunch downtown at an old German restaurant since the newspaper is located downtown. Then we visited the newspaper. That was my least favorite part of the trip. Maybe it was because it was so much walking, or maybe it was because I have working for two publishers that published products. We saw the news room where the reporters and designers and editors work. Then we went into the production area where much of the work is done by computer and paper rolls are moved by robots. The paper runs are checked around every 3,000th paper for alignment and accuracy of printing. and adjustments are made, in needed. We also saw the room where the inserts of ads (which are not printed there) are inserted in the Sunday papers.
All in all, it was a very interesting day and I learned a lot and had a lot of fun.