March 28, 2013
The big day has Come and Gone!
Like everyone else, it was very hard to contain my excitement for Newsday. All of the hard work done in the past month was finally unveiled to the public. Because it was our last day as student reporters, a few of us decided to meet up one last time for lunch. We went inside to support the students who were going to be on the BC Almanac as part of a teen panel discussing teens and their concerns. Zak, Daniel and I (later joined by Tara) were approached with a request. They were wondering if we were free to do a live chat that was simultaneously broadcast to the live radio panel where we would be discussing the same questions/concerns. It was great to talk about how we felt about the various stigma surrounding teenagers and what could be improved in adult-teen relations.
In between the live chat and the live gala event, we spent our time in and out of the CBC building. I've mentioned in a previous post that we had only met twice in total. For the next few hours we got to learn a little more about each other while playing games. We had a lot of laughs and a lot of hushed tones.
Before we knew it, 5 o'clock had rolled around. Walking into the studio and actually seeing it filled with people had me speechless. I didn't expect so many to come out and support us. We kicked off the gala right away! Between 5:00pm and 6:30pm, bumpers of the live gala would be inserted into the news. Bumpers are clips that are sneaked into the live broadcast right before or after a story or commercial break. Between that time as well would be the broadcast of Amy's, Afiq's, Lily's and Diego's stories. Whenever a fellow student reporter came on the big screen, there were many cheers! We finished the live broadcast with a small blooper reel before watching the highlight reel. Many short speeches were made afterwards but my favourite had to be Maggie and Anthony presenting our gift to Theresa on stage. There was a lump in my throat that hadn't been there earlier. The cake had been rolled in and it was time to get group shots. Tony Parsons appeared to help Theresa hand out the scholarships with Barb Kennedy and Kathleen Casprowitz, two representatives from Sylvan Learning. Sylvan offered up a $1000 in scholarship money which is never an easy decision, especially for thirty students. The scholarship money they provided to each of us could have been used differently, but instead Sylvan decided to support our futures and our learning. You have our undying gratitude, Kathleen, Barb and Sylvan.
However, it was bittersweet to receive the scholarship because it meant our time was over. One could easily tell that none of the student reporters wanted to leave. We lingered for as long as we could in the studio before leaving one by one.
March 28, 2013
Some things will never be forgotten
Now that CBC Newsday is here, here's what my fellow student reporters had to say!
Q: What was your favourite/most memorable moment during the 2013 CBC Newsday process?
My most memorable moment was during our first workshop. I quickly overcame my nerves and settled in right away, getting to meet all the other 29 amazing and super talented reporters for the first time. I also got to learn more about what being a journalist means and what they do, and how they do it. The workshop was a real learning experience that I shared with 29 other great people – plus Theresa and the mentors.
~ Anthony Hope
My most memorable moment was during the interview with Jack Willis, the boy with high-functioning autism. That boy will go far in life.
~ Daniel Lam
My most memorable moment would have to be getting the email telling me that I got in. It was such a proud moment for me, as I’m sure it was for all 30 of us!
~ Ola Majzoub
Most memorable moment was going down to the CBC 'headquarters' and working on my article at an actual desk in the actual newsroom. Wow!
~ Alex Kostas
My most memorable moments were just walking through the CBC news room, and getting to see behind the scenes just how all the news is found. Also, looking up all the time I would see the CBC news desk, and that was both cool and distracting.
~ Ryan Lepper
My most memorable moment was going to the Vancouver Sun headquarters. Learning and seeing what professional print journalism is all about, and chatting with people from that environment, was eye opening.
~ Youmy Han
My most memorable moment was the pizza party when we all got together again. I got to meet so many more people and I loved how we bonded so easily.
~ Natasha Laponce
My most memorable moment was when I received Theresa's call. I was actually sick, but despite my sore throat, I screamed right after the call ended.
~ Amy Du
My most memorable moment was meeting my mentor face to face for the first time. She was super relaxed and friendly, but incredibly knowledgeable about journalistic writing. I felt like I was learning just by watching her. Later that day, at the Vancouver Sun HQ, they announced the new pope and I was actually in the "hub" when it happened.
~ Zak Vescara
My most memorable moment was when I was sitting in my classroom and I opened my email on the phone and I saw confirmation from the Newsday that I had been selected. I wanted to jump up and down and hug somebody, but I couldn't since I was in the middle of the class.
~ Gunvit Bhatia
The most memorable moment at CBC has been being in the newsroom, amidst all the action. The atmosphere in the studio has been beyond thrilling. Being welcomed with open arms and having the pleasure to work with such a kind staff who shared their knowledge with us has been completely gratifying. So happy to have been a part of this process. Thank you, CBC!
~ Amrit Gill
My most memorable moment was interviewing the owner of the hookah lounge in Vancouver. I got to learn many things related to hookah, and you could really sympathize with him when he talked about his struggle to keep business running. Thanks ever so much CBC for granting me this opportunity to experience journalism first-hand.
~ Afiq Hisham
Thank you for coming to my lovely blog! Unfortunately this is my very last post. Perhaps we shall meet again in the future. Maybe I'll be working for the CBC. Who knows? Take care! This is Tiffani Rayo, officially signing off.
March 28, 2013
This is it. My time is officially over. These past few weeks have literally flown by! There are a few people I'd like to thank for supporting me during this short journey.
To my 29 fellow student reporters: I can't tell you all how much it means to me to be a part of CBC Newsday with such an amazing group of people. From the first time we met at our workshop, your hard work never failed to impress me. It meant so much to me whenever one of you would come up and tell me about how much you enjoyed reading my blog posts or how I was doing such an awesome job with the blog. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all the support and wonderful memories. Let's meet up again in the near future. I wish you all the best in your upcoming endeavors.
To Linda and Theresa: I can't thank either of you enough. I was able to turn a small dream into reality because of you two. It's been such a blast and I'll miss you both dearly. Theresa, you do so much for CBC and it's been so inspiring to watch. I've learned so much from you in our short time together. Linda, thank you for putting up with my slow replies. I've been quite stressed out with school recently and I appreciate all the patience you've shown me. Thank you for taking the time to read and edit my posts. You are a vital part of my success and I honestly couldn't have done any of this without you.
To my friends and family: Thank you for your never-ending love! I've never been the self-confident type but you are the people who pushed me to try one more time. Thank you for always believing in me ... even when I didn't at times.
And of course, to CBC for offering such an exhilarating opportunity!
March 26, 2013
CBC Newsday is Only One Sleep Away!
CBC Newsday is tomorrow! A lot of hard work went into Newsday so I invite you to check it out. We've got TV, radio, web and print – something for everyone! Below is a list of where you can find our stories:
Tune into CBC Vancouver tomorrow from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm and you just might see yours truly! If you're unable to listen and/or watch, be sure to visit our main webpage in the coming days for links to the articles, radio and television news pieces! Don't forget to check back here as well for the final post!
March 26, 2013
My Newsday Reflection
With CBC Newsday only one day away, I'd like to share a bit of a reflection on this once-in-a-lifetime experience. My time with CBC has been very short, but I am so very thankful for the opportunity.
The other finalists and I have learned so much about the different types of journalism these past few weeks. It was simply incredible to go behind-the-scenes and see the real work behind the articles and news pieces we see and hear daily. For many of us, it sparked something inside. Inspiration. Not only did we get to be a part of the whole news process but we were also able to work on our own stories: real issues that real high school students wanted to bring forth into the community. Each year only a select 30 out of hundreds are able to do so. That alone is amazing! ($1000 in scholarship money is close behind.) Never would I have imagined to be one of the final 30. I almost didn't go to my audition because of how unprepared I was. I had written my pitch a few hours before and I wasn't even sure if it made sense. I woke up late...and pretty much gave up. But due to the constant pestering of my best friend that morning, I went to try one last time. I'm glad I did.
But besides all the hard work and lessons in news writing and interviewing, another important but overlooked aspect of Newsday are the friendships and happy memories the final 30 has had together. Being a shy girl, walking into a room with 29 other students, all of whom I did not know, was actually terrifying. It was like walking into your first class after recently moving schools – you don't know anyone. As the Newsday process went on, I was able to create new friendships and many new memories which I'll be able to carry with me throughout my life.
I've met a lot of cool people and I've done a lot of cool things…but this? This tops the list.
March 22, 2013
"Stella Stella Hola! Clap Clap Clap!"
The second part of my day yesterday was promo filming. However, we didn't begin right away because there were things we had to do first. We returned to the CBC lobby to begin filming for Diego's overview piece on CBC Newsday. He interviewed three of my fellow finalists while the rest of us just watched or joked around in the background. Next were more interviews! However these next interviews were for the online highlight reel. This reel will be showcasing students who aren't doing television such as the radio kids, print kids, web kids and me! While all of these interviews were going on, Anthony, our other social media kid, was off conducting his own impromptu interviews!
Between the interviews and the actual promo filming, we had another thirty minutes to spare so we returned to the meeting room. Someone suggested we play a game to pass the time. The game we played? The childhood classic: “Stella, Stella Hola!” Each of us gathered around the large tables and held out our hands. It had been a while since many of us had played this game, but it was a game everyone knew by heart. As each person was eliminated, the stakes grew and grew. There was a point in the game where I had to sprawl myself over a table with my arms wide open in order to play … I ended up being eliminated right after.
Now it was time to resume filming! My highlight of the promo filming was Theresa holding the microphone over the camera. One of the promos filmed had five students, two girls and three boys of different heights, speaking only one word. Jake, who was last to say his word, was the tallest of the five. He was to take a step towards the camera and say his word. During the rehearsal, he ended up walking head first into the mic Theresa was holding! Our final promo divided us into three groups. Fortunately, no one walked into the mic this time.
March 22, 2013
Yesterday, most of the final 30 got together at CBC to have a pizza lunch! This was only the second time we had been together since the initial workshop. I was a bit nervous because it had been a while and I tend to become shy really easily.
As I walked in, my nerves went away instantly. Immediately the atmosphere became lively. Everyone was either laughing or joking around with one another. I loved how comfortable we all were. After 10 minutes, Theresa came in with six boxes of pizza! There was no hesitation in eating them. Ross, our cameraman, arrived and began filming our teenage antics which included an arm wrestling match, a thumb wrestling match and constant laughter. Then we stepped out to view the studio where the live gala event would be held next Wednesday. Theresa explained the set-up and overview of the event. While standing inside the studio, the whole CBC Newsday program became even more surreal.
To be honest, it's such a shame that this was only the second time we were together. I know I can speak for everyone when I say that yesterday's pizza lunch has become one of our most memorable moments while a part of the CBC Newsday program! It was great to have another day to just hang out and build on the friendships made during our workshop!
March 19, 2013
This One's for Them
I'd liked to dedicate this post to all camera people out there. Why? They work very hard and do much more than just “film”. After my last two camera experiences, I've come to really recognize their efforts and understand their importance when it comes to broadcast journalism. Not to say that they never work hard or were never important before, but they aren't usually the first thing that comes to mind when I think of CBC.
Along with our actual mentors, the cameramen are there to assist the student reporters. While they may not be the ones revising our interview questions or working with us directly when we visit the CBC building, they help us with the whole filming process. While observing at Lily's interview shoot, I was able to really see what a cameraman actually does besides film. Working the camera is not an easy thing to do. They definitely aren't light and not your average “point and shoot” video cameras. These cameras come with various parts that can be attached or detached when needed. Ross, the cameraman during Lily's shoot, had a type of industrial tripod with him. When I did my “streeter” work, Brett had no such thing. He had the camera on his shoulder.
I was to assist at Lily’s interview so I carried the camera bag. Though there was barely anything in it, the weight of the bag amazed me and Theresa noticed I was teetering off to one side.
A cameraman is like an on-site producer/editor of the video. They're always thinking about the aesthetics of the shoot such as angles, lighting and even backgrounds! They take whatever is given to them and turn it into a visually appealing shot. Cameramen are also artists. They have a subject and with that subject they determine the composition and the lighting that fits well together. I've never been good at art so I probably wouldn't be the best person to man the camera.
Thank you to all the cameramen we have worked with or will be working with! Without your hard work, we would have no live gala event nor would half of us have a story to present on Newsday.
March 18, 2013
"YOU'RE FIRED!" "...Wait, did he just fire someone?!"
Last Friday I had the chance to visit Lily at her school where she was conducting interviews for her story! I was very excited because I had never been to an interview shoot before. Lily on the other hand was extremely nervous about her upcoming interviews. I mean who wouldn't be when you have to interview your principal AND the chairperson of the Vancouver School Board! Not to mention everyone in the hallway staring at you while you film/interview. Unfortunately I couldn't stay for the whole shoot (because you should never miss math class even on the last day before spring break.)
We started off the shoot with an interview with Mr. McGeer, the principal of John Oliver Secondary school. After the actual interview is complete, something known as “b-roll” is shot. B-Rolls are clips of video shown during voice-overs. They're usually shot multiple times and in different angles for each scene. The best part about b-roll shooting is that you can pretty much say whatever you want because the audio will be replaced with a voice-over during editing! You can imagine what kind of fun could be had with b-roll filming.
The highlight of my day was Lily's b-roll with Mr. McGeer! Remember how I said you could pretty much say anything during b-roll filming? Lily decided to ask her principal the age-old question, “what is your favourite colour?” His response? Blue. Surprisingly Lily had lots to say on the history of the colour blue. This sparked their mini-discussion on the colour blue while Theresa and I had a bit of a laugh from time to time. As the discussion died down, our cameraman pressed for more because he needed more footage. Their discussion had switched to the topic of Mr. McGeer's favourite food. But as soon as that discussion began to die down, our cameraman asked Lily to keep the conversation going for another twenty seconds or so. What did they talk about? Everybody's favourite topic – Vancouver's weather. This time, it was Mr. McGeer's solo for b-roll filming. We watched as he walked through the school office and into his own office before sitting down and looking at the papers scattered on his desk. As his solo filming progressed, Theresa, Lily and I were shooed out of his office because we getting into the shots. We looked through the crack of the door to see Mr. McGeer on his phone. As it turns out, he was pretending to fire people via phone call. He seemed to enjoy this part quite a bit. So did we.
You can view more photos of Lily's interview by checking out our twitter hashtag, “#cbcnewsday”! Lily did an amazing job with her interviews. If you want to know what her news story is about, don't forget to tune into CBC Vancouver on March 27, 2013!
March 14, 2013
The Woes of a Student Reporter
As March 27th approaches quickly (TWO WEEKS), everyone has been working hard on their assignments. With that being said, it isn't all sunshine and rainbows. Each one of us has faced some sort of struggle within the last few weeks, some were easily overcome, some are still in the process of overcoming. (Don't worry, this isn't a blog post where I constantly complain!)
The priority of all priorities. Although we'd like to say CBC Newsday is our number one priority, school has just a bit more leverage. By now, the second term of the 2012-2013 school year has finished or is just about finished. Most students agree that the second term is the most stressful term in any school year. It's the time of year where education takes no break. One could compare the second term to a car race where there are a few pit stops but your time there is extremely short. However, for a Grade 12 student like myself, those pit stops are extremely rare in the second term known as the “do-or-die” term (thanks to post-secondary).
As student reporters, we have a month until the live gala event on March 27th. One would think that one month is a sufficient amount of time and it is, but because we are students who attend high school five days a week with constant homework, projects and tests, it can become stressful trying to juggle your schedule. Like I said earlier, school is the number one priority but CBC Newsday is just as important to many of us. Meeting the mentor, scheduling interviews, doing research, editing, interviewing, more editing, more recording, more writing … it's a lot to do, but even with the time crunch, we are still doing the best that we can.
Lack of Resources/Responses
When conducting a news piece, I've learned it is important to have resources. As the Sylvan blogger, the resource I primarily use is my own experience. In that sense, I'm very lucky to have a resource that is easily accessible. Unfortunately that is not the case with the remaining student reporters. Their news stories revolve around someone other than themselves. For more sensitive topics, it's hard to convince others to come out and speak on camera or through radio. Scheduling interviews are also hard when no one responds back to your emails or your phone calls. Sometimes, the research itself is nowhere to be found and that also makes it just a bit more difficult for us.
Although there have been quite a few struggles as a student reporter, isn't an opportunity like CBC Newsday even more valuable because of the struggles faced and eventually overcome? Absolutely. It's hard work, but it's hard work that we enjoy doing.
March 12, 2013
The Real Work Begins
Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited to the CBC for Daniel's meeting with one of his mentors. It was also Daniel's very first day of work! My situation is a lot different from the other student reporters in the sense that I don't need to do any beforehand research or discuss the focus of my story with my mentor (because I have multiple) or walk around with a cameraman by my side.
Daniel came late that day. While he wasn't there, Theresa explained to me the entire process of his story. I have to admit that I was a bit jealous. The whole process sounded so exciting, especially with his situation (Hint: Television … March 27th.)
Meeting-the-mentor day was a lot like I had expected, yet at the same time completely different. Right when Daniel arrived, he and Theresa went straight to work. Many things were discussed that day but the majority of the conversation was prep work. Prep work ranged from focusing the story, to research such as gathering statistics or anecdotes, to setting up interviews. Their conversation really opened up the world of broadcast journalism. During the workshop we were told that hours and hours of work went into a small 90 second news clip … I believed them. But being able to see a part of that whole process actually happen in front of you instilled the fact further.
During my two hours there, I experienced what so many of my fellow student reporters have already experienced – the determination to continue and carry on. To explain further, being exposed to the real world of journalism only furthers the motivation and inspiration we have always had.
March 11, 2013
Like I mentioned in my introduction post, many of the final 30 auditioned for their first time this year. In Ryan's case, he auditioned three times (that's one more than me)! Now in grade 12, it's obvious that Ryan still has the same passion for CBC Newsday since his first audition in grade 10. He's goal-driven. When I met him, I had no idea. It was refreshing to meet someone with so much perseverance and positive energy. Although he is involved in so many extra-curricular activities (soccer, rugby, journalism club, cross country, etc.), for the time being, CBC Newsday is his number one priority.
Q: How did you first hear about CBC Newsday?
Ryan: I heard about CBC Newsday in grade 10 from my planning teacher Mrs. Skye. In one of our projects we talked about what we wanted to be when we grew up, I did mine on becoming sports broadcaster. When she heard about this program she told me immediately.
Q: From your first audition to your most recent, did your pitch story ever change?
Ryan: In my first two years of auditions I focused on sports stories because I wanted to be the sports reporter for CBC Newsday. But this year I realized getting in was more important than trying to secure a position I specifically wanted. So I did my pitch on the changes made to the BC provincial exam scholarship, which is important to me because of how I'm graduating this year and how it will affect me.
Q: After rejection of any sort, most people become discouraged. What made you come back and audition year after year?
Ryan: I came back year after year because this is what I've always wanted to do. I wanted to show people how dedicated I was to becoming a reporter. Also my grandparents were super supportive, each year they would call me up and tell me whenever they saw the program in the newspaper, or on the news. Probably my highlight for this program so far has been how excited my grandparents are for me.
Q: Did you do anything differently in preparing for your audition this year (seeing as you are in grade twelve and unable to participate next year)?
Ryan: As for doing things differently, I decided to do the Sylvan workshop (after some pestering from my mom) because I thought that maybe if CBC saw I'd done the workshop, then they'd take that into consideration when selecting their final 30. As for practice that pitch at Sylvan was actually the only time I really practiced my speech … Which wasn't very good of me to do! What helped the most though was actually at the auditions, I sat next to Jake and behind Alex who both made it into the program as well which was really cool. We just chatted while waiting to be called up, and it just helped calm me down for the audition.
Q: Like you, I auditioned more than once to be a part of CBC Newsday. Is there anything you would like to say to the students who are thinking of auditioning next year or have auditioned but did not make it through to the final 30?
Ryan: As for future students auditioning, I would say to start early and use each audition as an experience. In my first audition I was terrified of the camera, but by the third time around it was just like talking to a friend. So don't let failures at the auditions bring you down. Use it as a stepping stone to move forward in becoming a better person, and hopefully a better reporter!
Thanks to Ryan for taking part in this interview. He's working hard on his story so be sure to check it out on March 27th! Don't forget our hashtag, “#cbcnewsday” to read the latest tweets on CBC Newsday made by him and other student reporters!
March 9, 2013
Part 2: Brainstorming, promos...and dancing?
After lunch, we went straight into things with a producer from CBC Radio. She went over the process of choosing an angle of a story that you would like to focus on. As a group, we brainstormed different ways we could take a simple topic and spin it into a news worthy story. It was interesting to see the minds of my fellow student reporters at work. Everyone showed off such a unique thought process and suggested many ideas I would have never thought about on my own. In smaller groups we were given an article/case study that we would brainstorm for. It was a bit difficult to come up with an alternative spin for a topic many of us didn't really know or think about often. They surprised with mandarins! If possible, we were to also brainstorm on the topic of mandarins which made everything a little more difficult. After ten minutes we came back as a whole and shared ideas with one another.
Our last topic was on promos. Promos are those fifteen-second clips that give a sneak peek at an upcoming news story. A promo editor from the CBC came to talk to us about the importance of promos, the different types of promos that existed and the do's and don't's of promo making. We were shown previously aired promos as examples of what we were to write and perform in front of the camera. At this point, many of us were becoming tired and so the writing process dealt with a lot of furious crossing out of words. As each one of performed our promo, we were given critique on what we did well and what needed to be edited in order for the promo to be more effective.
As the day came to an end, we went outside of the CBC building to film a group promo together. Before that someone had suggested to Theresa to do the “Harlem Shake.” Unfortunately for me, I had to leave so I was unable to take part in both activities. But based on the video uploaded on CBC, it was definitely blast!
Besides our harlem shake video, our workshop video is also up online! If you can find me … High five for you!
March 7, 2013
Part 1: Those Magnificent Red Jackets (Workshop day!)
When I arrived at the CBC lobby, my pre-existing nervousness rose. Luckily the more I talked to others, the less nervous I became. The first thing that took place was an ice breaker … And what better way to break the ice by watching the finalists' audition video together! Although we were embarrassed to watch, it was quite effective. A representative from Sylvan Learning was there to help us understand the quality of writing needed for CBC Newsday. (Little did I know, Linda Kaye from Sylvan Learning was actually going to be my mentor.) We read examples of some interestingly real headlines that made quite a few of us laugh. (My favourite was something along the lines of, “Hospital resorts to hiring doctors.”) For the next five or ten minutes we were to write a headline and opening hook. Each of us had a list of fairy tales that we could pretend were real events to write our headlines and opening liners with. Each of us got up and shared what we wrote.
Then came the moment we were all waiting for … the red jackets (and our assignments.) After a mini-mishap with my name, I finally received my jacket. It felt quite surreal and I was just so excited. Coincidentally, I sat at the same table as Anthony! He was the other social media kid so I was glad it was someone that I had already felt comfortable with. As each person went up to receive their jacket, you could feel the excitement and the positive energy in the room just grow! We were given a fifteen-minute break to go around and mingle in our brand new jackets before we head out and start our “streeter” work.
My nervousness came back as we began “streeter” interviews. I was with the television kids, meaning we had the cameraman with us. The radio kids had their recording devices and did their own thing. The fifteen of us would eventually have to go up to someone and interview them. We had two choices of news stories to ask, one of a lighter nature and another of a more serious tone. All we needed to do was go up to someone, introduce ourselves and what we were doing and then ask for their opinion on one of the news stories if they agreed to be interviewed. For mine, I chose the lighter option of the two. Unfortunately, the man I asked had no idea what I was talking about. But to my rescue came Brett (cameraman) who knew a follow-up/related question to ask and I was able to keep the ball rolling. I came back to the group with my heart racing. It was exhilarating!
March 5, 2013
Hello and welcome to the Sylvan blog! For the next few weeks leading up to our live gala on March 27th, read about my experience, the experience of others and just CBC Newsday in general. This is the place to go for all the behind-the-scenes goods!
Before we begin on our journey together known as CBC Newsday, let me introduce myself. My name is Tiffani and I am 17 years old. I currently attend high school at Magee Secondary (Vancouver). This is also my final year in high school and I am more than happy to be a part of CBC Newsday during my last few months of high school. I love working with people, which why I take part in my school's Tourism Career Prep program and volunteer with children once a week.
Unlike most of my fellow student reporters, this is actually my second year in auditioning to be a part of CBC Newsday. To be honest, I almost didn't go … But we'll save that for another day.
Be sure to come back within the next few days to read more about the CBC Newsday experience! Don't forget to check our main webpage for more pictures and videos of this year's final 30! And if you're on twitter, make sure you check our hashtag, “#cbcnewsday” for the latest tweets from CBC and the student reporters themselves!