KUSA - In television news, the name of the game is time. Stories, live shots, weather, sports and commercials all have to be squeezed in. I would estimate in a half hour show, there is typically 10-13 minutes devoted to news content.
Will Ripley and I took up about 6 minutes of news content with our recent investigation on a custody battle. Here is a look at the last 24 hours on how we dealt with putting the story on the air.
I pulled up to my house late Sunday night, after putting the final touches on the custody battle story. The final edit had it running at 5 minutes, which is long. A good portion of my weekend was spent editing this piece. Even though it was "technically" finished, I knew we had a lot of work to go.
On my way to the gym at 8 a.m. Monday morning - Will called. We decided to meet up and work on the piece. During the next four hours, we cut certain parts and re-edited others to get a better flow of the story. Being completely honest with each other is how we work. This allows us to conceive the best possible piece.
I think of it like "The Godfather." There is a scene where Clemenza tells Pauly they are "going to the mattresses," i.e., they are going to war. It's not personal, it's strictly business. That's what it is like making these cuts. You can't take it personally. In the long run, making the cuts ensure a better story for you, the viewer, to watch.
Our edit was now running at 4 minutes and 30 seconds, which is a more respectable time.
At 1:30 p.m. that afternoon, we went to the station to get final approval. This is where "going to the mattresses," really takes effect. With our finished edit, we show our news director. She watches, and tells us what we need to change. After we make those changes, we show it to a line of managers, reporters, photographersand producers. They all offer suggestions. Some ideas we listen to, others we don't.
Once we make all the changes, we bring our news director back in for a final viewing. Once she gives approval, we are set. The story is sent to the server and scripts are put into the show. It's now 6:00 p.m. We've been working since 8 a.m. After grabbing a quick bite to eat, Will and I head to east Colfax for a live shot for the 9 and 10. After all is said and done, our day is finished at around 11 p.m.
Now, this is just one day of how we edited an investigative story. How we got to this day is a much longer process. Shooting the story, writing and editing it, going through lawyers, etc. is a long process. I hope this will give you, the viewer, an appreciation for our investigations. Yes, they are long stories, but lots of time and effort go into them to perhaps educate yourself on an issue you probably aren't so familiar with.
Thanks for watching, and that's the blog. Good day!
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