Q. What can I do to help ensure my success in this course?

A.  Great question!  First, attendance is vital to your success.  We often tackle hands-on work during class hours, such as camera training, Final Cut edit training and newsroom software training.  Because I do not have time for one-on-one training sessions with students who miss class, you will have a difficult time catching up if you miss training session.  Also, lack of attendance has a severe effect on your overall grade, as reflected in the syllabus.

Second, don’t rely on your peers for input, feedback and guidance on your projects and lab work.  If you have any “how do” questions or project requirement questions, do not rely on guidance from your classmates or those who may have taken the course in the past.  Historically, the information that students have received from peers has been dead wrong about fifty percent of the time!  If you are unsure about any course requirements, ask me!!  You’ll get better information and will therefore be more successful as far as your grade and your learning are concerned.

Third, don’t procrastinate.  Students who wait to work on projects, study for quizzes and prepare for reporting and shooting shifts do not do well in this course.  Project procrastinators routinely perform the most poorly in this course.  You cannot wait until the week before a project is due to begin working on it!!  Calendar a plan for the steps you need to take.  This includes:  1) develop a story idea and get my approval  2) make calls to line up interviews  3) shoot interviews and video  4) write and edit your story.  As you can see there are several steps involved in the process.  One week will not get the job done.  Work ahead of where you THINK you need to be.  You’ll likely end up where you should be.

Q.  When can I check out equipment to shoot my projects?

A.  Gear checkout guidelines are spelled out in the “Equipment Policy” section of the syllabus.  See the “TV 1 Syllabus” drop down menu.

Q.  How do the reporting/shooting shifts work?

A.  Each student will be assigned a partner for newsroom lab shifts.  You will be scheduled for a four-hour shift as a team, based upon your availability.  The lab shifts run for five weeks in the second half of the semester.  Each week, you will switch roles.  In other words, the person who works as the reporter in week 1 will work as the photog in week2 and then return to the reporter role in week 3, etc.  Each of you will be graded on your work for your role.  Do not let your partner do your work for you!  If you do, your grade will be based on your partner’s performance.  The reporter and photographer grade sheets are posted in the “forms” section of this blog to give you an idea of the criteria by which you will be measured.

Q.  What about transportation and parking for reporting shifts?

A.  Students must provide their own transportation.  I advise teams to decide who will work as photog for the first shift and let the photog provide his/her car and do the driving.  Every week, as you rotate roles, you will rotate the driving responsibility to whomever is the photog for that shift.  The reporter should report to the tv newsroom to pick up the day’s assignment.  The photog should drive into the Weimer Hall parking lot, park in the ten-minute loading zone space and pick up the gear.  The photog should reamin with his/her car for the few minutes that the reporter is collecting the assignment.  Upon returning to the newsroom, the photog will drop off his/her partner, return the gear to the equipment room and immediately leave the Weimer Hall parking lot and take his/her car to wherever he/she can legally park.  Only after all this is done should the photog report to the newsroom to work on the story.  Please be advised that parking legally on campus is your responsibility.  If you get any tickets, those are your responsibility.  It is up to you to find adequate parking while you are in the ewsroom working on your lab assignment.

Q.  Someone asked for a copy of the story I will be shooting.  Can I give them the video?

A.  No.  Under NO circumstances do we provide anyone with copies of our work, outtakes, finished products or any part of the video and interviews we shoot.  This work is considered to be your digital reporter notebook.  Four our protection as journalists, we do not ever hand over any of our notes in any form.  If someone requests a copy of the story, you can tell them to e-mail WUFT-TV and request that we post the final version of the story on our website.  No full-length interviews, outtakes or b-roll will be posted…only the aired version of the story.  If anyone ever demands a copy of the story in order to consent to an interview, tell them “thanks but no thanks” and find someone else to interview.  Also, do not ever promise to allow anyone to look at a story before it airs.  We do not allow anyone to “approve” or modify our work as journalists.

Q.  What can I do if I miss a reporting shift? 

A.  Occasionally, because of illness or family emergency, a student will be unable to report to the station for a shift.  Let me know as soon as possible if you determine that you will not be able to come in.  If you can provide proof of illness or emergency, you will be allowed to make up the shift.  But no-shows who do not notify me in advance of missing a shift, will not be extended this courtesy.  A no-show without talking to me in advance will result in a zero for the shift.  If you have a verified excuse for missing a shift, you can either make up the shift solo or make it up with your partner.  In other words, the two of you could both take the “day off” so to speak and arrange a makeup as a team through me.  Or your partner can work on the normal day and time and the sick student can work solo at another time.


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