After a three-hour car ride talking about basically everything and anything (and maybe a cat nap or two), we finally arrived at the beautiful campus of Drury University. The leaves were all stunning, ranging from red to yellow. It was absolutely breathtaking.
When we first arrived, we got a little lost trying to find our way to the check in. Thankfully, we found it and made our way to a lecture presented by Ashley Reynolds. I learned a lot of valuable information to become a better journalist. My favorite piece of advice was this: write it and walk away, which basically means write your script and then simply walk away from it and come back to it later with a new perspective.
After the lecture, we made our way to our first competition: news writing.
Molly, Courtney and I walked to the room. We had one hour to write a story script about a topic we were given along with a bit of information about the topic. I had a lot of technical difficulties, taking away about half of the time I was given to write my script. Soon, the complications went away and I finished my script right as time was called. It was not my best work, but I enjoyed writing the script.
My next session was anchoring.
Prior to that day, I had no practice at all reading from a teleprompter or transitioning from story to story. I knew my judge, Carole Lambert, was a professional. The studio I competed in was named after her! I attended an anchoring practice class that she hosted. She gave great tips on how to speak, sit, and present yourself on camera. She knew what she was doing, so I was afraid I would mess up and embarrass myself.
The nerves got to me throughout the whole thing. The lights and camera were a little intimidating, which made me mess up a couple of words here and there, but I picked up right after the mess ups and kept on going.
Being new at anchoring, I was terrified that I would perform poorly. Thankfully, my experience with acting helped reading off new information and saying it correctly, most of the time anyway.
Since news writing and anchoring were the only two competitions I signed up for, my group and I got to go for lunch and had a bit of free time until the ending ceremony.
At lunch time, we were confronted by four girls who offered us their extra pizzas… for free! So we took the pizza and sat down at a local park.
We took a self-guided tour through Springfield, finding a geocache here and there (Geocaching is basically a nation-wide scavenger hunt. Find out more about it at geocaching.com). I discovered how beautiful it was in Springfield. After about 3 hours of lunch, parks and geocaches, we headed back to the Drury University campus.
The dinner and awards ceremony were a lot of fun. There was a DJ; the atmosphere was so full of energy. They handed out awards and we got to see first place videos, music videos, and stories. Three of our staffers, Ellie Scheer, Erin Ready, and Emmy Lopez, won second place for their mail-in story on Barb and Marvin: 50 years of Football. (http://bluejayjournaltv.weebly.com/marvinbarb50years.html)
When the ceremony was over, we received our judges’ sheets from the competitions we entered. Apparently, I did a lot better at anchoring than I expected because I had two stars at the top of my page! Kind of childish, I know, but I was so excited because I had no practice before. It opened my eyes to possibly go into news anchoring as a career if I practiced hard enough.
My experience at the DUTV Conference was an enlightening opportunity for me. I enjoyed seeing other people as passionate about Broadcast as I am. I definitely want to participate and compete next year if possible.