In my last two blog posts, I have repeatedly lamented the fact that a lot of things about our show have changed since we were forced to continue production without the conveniences of the media center. It’s true that a lot of things have changed, but one of the few constants is the importance of spending time wisely, something that is even more complicated for many during the COVID-19 era.
My favorite part of working in the media center used to be the last second running around to get some piece of breaking news (or a hastily connected live shot) on the air. There was something about everyone rushing together to get the job done that was fun. During remote production, the workflow is different enough that we don’t have to rush things together (most of the time). Since no remote episodes of ATVN are live, we aren’t as constricted by time as we previously were. However, that is not quite the luxury it may sound.
When we were on campus, ATVN would end at 6 p.m. and I’d be walking back to my apartment shortly thereafter, no exceptions. Producers are now editing each episode of the show on Adobe Premiere Pro, taking time to insert every graphic and story in exactly the right place. It may not sound like much after spending the whole day constructing the pieces of the show, but putting it all together can take three to four hours after we receive the last interview. These days, we’re lucky if we are finished by 8:30 p.m.
This is an incredibly long winded way of saying that time is precious. I mean this both in the sentimental sense and the “time is money” sense. Regardless of what job you’re trying to complete, it’s obvious that time is always going to be the most important decision that you make every single day you work on that job. If you decide to spend five simple minutes fixing something that no one else will notice, it might be worth it (perfection is a worthwhile goal, at least), but it could also cause you to miss a glaring issue that will be apparent to everyone later. Setting an order to the things you absolutely must accomplish and the things you would like to accomplish (not the same) is important to every job you will ever work on.
Equally as important is the the quality of persistence. This week, I devoted an excessive amount of time to contacting a source that never materialized. It’s disappointing, but it’s the type of thing that happens in this industry every single day. Despite my failure, my repeated efforts to secure this source taught me that I can be persistent and forceful without being unpleasant or annoying (a little annoying is still ok, for the record).
These are lessons that will undoubtedly be useful in any career, whether it’s in a newsroom or whatever setting we find ourselves in these unprecedented times.