Moving to Industry

Part Three: Moving for News

The 257 Express: without it I wouldn’t be able to go home

First and foremost, I love human interaction. It’s why I always preferred customer service jobs rather than being by myself unloading boxes. Whenever there’s a chance to talk to someone in person instead of emails, text messages, or even over the phone, I’ll take it just about every time.

In my Intro to Radio course, our first assignment was to create a 55 second news story that would be good enough to air on our radio station 107.9 Evolution. The catch, interview two subjects in person and find record your own ambient sound to play in the background; to make the listener feel like they’re in the field as well.

I did my story on the West Vancouver Blue Bus strike a few weeks ago, because as someone who lives in both Nanaimo on Vancouver Island and Burnaby on the mainland, I’d be as hopeless as an independent Blockbuster owner. If this strike were to continue, it’d sure affect the hell out of me.

Thankfully the strike began and ended on the same day, as the ATU and the district of West Vancouver finalized a three year contract. So it was much easier to get an interview from both sides.

I interviewed Bill Tieleman of the ATU and Jeff McDonald, the Director of Community Relations and Communications for the district of West Vancouver. Travelling from Burnaby, going downtown to meet Tieleman was no inconvenience. Heck, even though McDonald was all the way in West Van I still didn’t mind. Before I left my dorm, I gave McDonald a call to make sure we were still on to meet for the interview, and McDonald said “are you sure you just don’t want to do it over the phone? It’d be so much more convenient for you.”

Instinctively I said “oh no worries it’s not a problem.” Although after we hung up, I actually took a brief moment to think about what McDonald said. Would it be more convenient and time saving for me if I recorded our phone call? Yes, absolutely. However, there were two reasons why I wanted to go out in the field to meet up with him face to face.

1) The assignment stated the interview needed to be recorded in person. So even in that instance by preference is thrown out the window.

2) As mentioned earlier, I prefer in person interactions over email, texting, or telephone conversations.

There’s just so much more information to absorb in person that conversations without seeing a face can’t bring. The body language while speaking on and off the record and how hard an individual works is something I will never be able to fully appreciate and understand without the visuals that go along with it.

Plus it does give me an excuse to go out and record ambient sound for the background of my story…

If I’m not willing to travel via transit for 50 minutes for an interview, I wouldn’t be willing to do a lot of things in the news industry.

Just like moving away from home, I’m glad to have ripped off that Band-Aid early.

The fourth and final part of this miniseries will cover where I truly want to end up and the tough realization on how I finally got there.