From July 8 to July 26 I attended a three-week internship as an editor at TV.Rostock, a small local news station in Rostock.
TV.Rostock is the leading local news station in Rostock and the biggest local channel in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
I chose a TV station for my work experience because I have been interested in the production of television programs for a while and I hope to work in this field in the future.
With this internship I hoped to gain an insight into the actual work that is done to create the daily news programs and maybe have the opportunity to work on some news pieces myself.
I was surprised at the small number of employees working at the station. It has only 15 permanent employees, four of them being trainees.
Most of the staff members are cameramen and video editors, which was very fortunate for me as the writing editors need their interns as coworkers to manage all the work and get enough material to fill the news.
Studio, video editing suites and the editors desks where side by side. The individual departments work very close together, so I gained insight in the other jobs as well. At the end of each day I could also watch the anchor from inside the studio when the news where taped.
The editors are responsible for the selection of news stories and the content of their news pieces. They write the text for the tele prompter the anchor is reading the news from and write and record the text you can hear in pre-taped news pieces. They also choose who is being interviewed and than interview that person.
Including the interns the station employs only five editors of whom usually only one or two are present in the studio, while the others are filming with a cameraman on location. The editors and cameramen at the station form mostly unchanging teams of two to make teamwork easier.
My partner was Oliver, a trainee cameraman. Together we produced one or two news pieces a day, that where usually broadcast on the same evening. Over the three weeks I worked there the head editor Karolin looked after me and helped me with my tasks.
Over this weeks I did almost everything an editor at a local station would do, from the weather forecast and smaller news stories over public surveys in the streets to two-minute pieces with multiple interview partners.
My typical working day began at 9 a.m.. I got to the studio by the relatively cheap and convenient public transport in just 10 minutes. There Karolin told me about my tasks for the day. Filming on location began usually at 10:30 a.m., so I had one hour to find out about the circumstances I would be reporting about, get a first idea how the finished piece might look and think about matching questions I could ask the different possible interview partners. The filming took mostly about two hours. While Oliver did first recordings, I found one or two interesting and willing interviewees. Only the answers are used in the finished piece, so I didn’t have to be to concerned about the way I asked the questions. I then explained to the interviewee what I would ask them and how they could best answer it, while Oliver prepared the technical equipment. After Oliver filmed all we would need we drove back to the studio, where Oliver started to cut the filmed material, while I wrote the matching text. Depending on content and interview this can be done in 15 minutes or take hours. It is especially difficult if there is not enough news-worthy substance in a story, which happens a lot in local news of a town like Rostock. As soon as the text is finished, it is recorded by another editor and then passed on to Oliver, who then adjusts the footage to the spoken text. While Oliver was busy, I wrote the weather forecast or the tele prompter text for smaller news. The finished product, regardless of whether it is the weather or a pre-taped two-minute piece has to be approved by an experienced editor, before it is passed on to the video editors in the studio. Around 4 p.m. at the end of a working day the news are taped in the studio and, as they aren’t live but broadcast two hours later, subsequently equipped with images and texts, the pre-taped news pieces and the advertisements.
Summarizing the past month I can say that I gained an accurate insight into the work of a local news editor.
The work experience far exceeded my expectations.
Working as an editor was diverse, exciting and challenging. I learned a lot and often had to surpass myself, which was always worth the effort.