Leipzig Blog 5 – Walking A Mile In Someone Else’s Shoes

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In the midst of June, 2012 I finally realized what being a journalist is all about. Coming from someone who though journalism was simply writing your thoughts out, I’ve learned that there is way more than what meets the eye.  As part of a project for my class Journalism 466, we had to meet up with the radio station MDR and organize stories based on certain topics.  This assignment brought on new skills and memories I will never forget. My interns Caroline and Torsten were very patient with the language barrier and my lack of knowledge towards the video camera. They started out sharing basic facts, tips, and insights on how to record a good clip. They showed me that working with the video camera is more than pressing record. When shooting live takes, changing points of views with the camera, really makes a difference. Also while working with a camera, and a story plot, you have to be organized and have a set plan.

Our plot started with the idea that being either European or American, “competition is still competition.” With sports being the subject for our group, competition was a good contrast and comparison for the two countries.  Now that we had an idea and a theme, we just needed actors and a competition for the show to start rolling. We decided to make a show out of basic games you played when you were little. These games consisted of thumb-war, a staring contest, long-jump, rock-paper-scissors, and arm wrestling. Fellow group members and I participated in the group as the Americans and we found random Germans to participate as well. Throughout the project I learned that using random people as a part of your show isn’t always the easiest thing to do. With the language barrier we had help from the interns to confront Germans and ask them for their help. While some found our games quite comical, others really took the games seriously. My biggest reflection of the games was when I was playing rock- paper- scissors with a fellow German and he tried his hardest not to lose. He insisted on a fair two out three wins. Of course he took the win, but was a gentleman afterwards.

While shooting different scenes, we also used the zoom to capture special and key moments. I never realized what a zoom button could do; zooming in on the competitors face during the challenge helped show the intensity of the competition. In conclusion to my previous thoughts on journalism and what goes behind it, it takes a lot of planning and dedication to really make something out of what you’re trying to share. Teamwork is definitely one of the key aspects to creating a great story and a riveting piece. The interns at MDR are highly skilled in what they do and I am thankful for having the opportunity to work with them, and learning the ins and outs of being a great journalist.

– Carrie Rider