Live from camp: A glimpse into the life of a journalist

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6/27/11: Day 9 of camp

I woke up this morning with one word in my head. Deadline. It represented the culmination of my week’s work of getting my story for the paper ready, of laughing and coffee with Don Shelby, and of late nights cramming in the edits I had to get done for the morning. Most interestingly, I have become used to coffee. I never drank it before this camp. Doesn’t taste too bad.

We spent the day, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. editing, re-editing and then editing some more, throwing out new sentences and trying to cut the amount of words in the story down so that it could fit inside the elusive word count limit, and trying to remain as calm as possible as the seconds ticked by. When we hit lunchtime, most people just brought food back up to the work room and kept working right through the lunch hour. That is if they left to get food at all. Some just waited until they had their finished product in front of them before they grabbed anything to eat. But finally, after literally hours of work and countless key taps, our stories were deemed at a level good enough to send to Annie and Lynda for the final say. As I sent mine, a line my mentor said to me popped into my head. He said, “I believe that a day spent on a boat does not detract from our time on this earth.” It makes sense to me, and it fits nicely, since the stories we have been working on are about the environment.

The next part to our day consisted of a visit and tour of the KARE 11 studio. It was a nice building and the reporters and anchors were quite friendly and seemed relaxed for all the hubub going on, people getting ready for the next hour’s show and different story deadlines. We got to watch one of the anchors prepare for the five o’clock news and see the teleprompter and cameras used to shoot the show. We also found out that since going to high definition television, KARE 11 no longer needs green screens. The only one that they have is the one they use for the weather. Our tour guide also explained that before the newsroom became the newsroom, it had a wrestling mat where wrestlers would square off during the broadcast. We then went outside the building to the KARE 11 Backyard, the spot where they shoot the weather when it’s nice out and on Fridays, they do a grill segment that shows local recipes during the show. Our guide again had an interesting story – when Paul Douglas was a meteorologist at KARE 11, someone threw water balloons at the set, since there weren’t walls keeping people from seeing the show. It was apparently both scary and funny at the same time.

After the tour, we hit the buffet. It was chinese food, and man was it delicious. We thoroughly enjoyed the meal, and the fortune cookies handed out after were entertaining. I believe one of them said, “keep your goals from the trolls.” Strange advice from a fortune, but made for a fun time.

The day wound down with us watching Toy Story and relaxing in the dorm lounge.

The camp dynamic has been changing and we’ve all been bonding. It’s cool to think that a week ago, we were all strangers, but, for me at least, it feels like we are like family now, joking and sharing in the experiences we all have. Whether we’re walking down by the Mississippi or playing cards in the dorm lounge for hours, we all have begun to grow on each other.

- David Gustafson, Intermediate Camp ’11

David Gustafson
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