Well, how embarrassing is this. It’s been longer than I care to admit that I added anything onto my blog. It’s time to get back on track.
If you’ve read previous posts, you’ll know a little about me. I’m a journalist. I have been for 9 years. If I wasn’t doing this I really don’t know what I’d be doing. I’ve been a storyteller probably since I first learnt to speak. It’s pretty incredible I get paid for it now. I’m lucky to fulfil a couple of different roles at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) where I’ve worked for nine years.
Take this week; I was the Sydney reporter for ABC News Breakfast (NBK). It airs weekdays from 6am to 9am, Monday – Friday on ABC and ABC News 24. It’s also streamed online. Here’s a snapshot of my week.
MONDAY: BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Alarm goes off at 4am. Rise and shine! This is the life of breakfast TV. It is NOT glamorous like many people think.
Today I crossed live into NBK covering the horrible news of a woman who died after being thrown from a motorbike sidecar during a race. This job often brings you face to face with the harshness of life.
Later that morning a feature article I’d written for ABC Arts was published online. It was a complimentary piece to a TV story I did for ABC TV’s The Mix about Indigenous dance company Bangarra Dance Theatre’s latest production, ‘lore’. The show went to air during the weekend.
TUESDAY: 4am. You know what happens. Down to Mascot this morning to do some live crosses about a fire at an old RSL building that was currently being demolished. No-one was injured and no homes were affected. This is the best possible outcome!
Then my cameraman and I head off to the theatre to preview a new play about Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. This was a lot of fun to shoot. I edited the story later in the week and it’s slated to run on NBK on Monday.
I do all my own editing for TV. Editors do still exist, though not in the number they did when I started with the ABC. These days many journalists (including me) are expected to cut their own vision. Gone are the days of a job that just involves talking into a microphone and staring down the barrel of a camera.
WEDNESDAY: Beep, beep, beep etc. A big day today. First up we’re off to the Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair where I met Fiona Kirk. She’s an incredible woman who founded Angel Gowns Australia after being so moved by the death of her friend’s baby daughter. The charity converts donated wedding dresses into tiny gowns for babies to be laid to rest in. This story had a profound impact on me this week. If you’re a sewer I encourage you to check out their website and get involved. If like me, you’re not, may I suggest you vote for them as they bid for a funding grant.
From there we raced off to Garden Island to welcome USS Antietam – a US navy ship that berthed in Sydney this week. This was a lot of fun. I met Captain Michael McCartney and toured the ship.
I was astounded that when the ship berthed, the crew got to work cleaning, repainting, polishing and scrubbing the ship. They’d been at sea for 45 days, and they weren’t allowed off to explore Sydney until the ship sparkled like new again. Now that’s the discipline!
THURSDAY: Alarm. I had no story booked for today. It had been a busy week already with all the stories I’d lined up. So this morning I edited my Snugglepot and Cuddlepie story and sent it to Melbourne where NBK is based. My Angel Gowns Australia story aired on ABC News Midday today too. I’ve been told it generated a lot of calls from the public to the ABC wanting to know how to get involved. It’s an incredible feeling to know that my coverage of the group has helped them get a little more attention and more supporters. This is what being a journalist is all about.
FRIDAY: Getting up at 4am this morning was hard. It must be Friday! Last night 1300 CEO’s around Australia took part in St Vincent de Paul’s annual CEO Sleepout to raise money and awareness about homelessness. Off my crew and I went to the Sydney event for an interview with the Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull who took part in the sleepout. Then another interview with the CEO of the NSW branch of St Vinnies. Again, I was able to get out a message to our audiences about the plight of some of our countrymen and women and encourage people to help those less fortunate. I feel so lucky sometimes that I’m able to be a voice for people who struggle to get heard in the public domain.
There you go. My working week in a nutshell. In future posts I’ll let you know a little more detail about how we do all the things we do. I’m often reminded that the world of journalism and TV is one many people don’t know about. So I’ll endeavour to spill a few secrets along the way. I guess you know now, that being on TV involves EARLY MORNING ALARMS! And let’s face it, that’s not fun 🙂
Until next time,
All photos are mine unless otherwise stated.