A Day at SBS
It was a brilliantly sunny morning the day I began my one week long internship at SBS TV News: much to my ignorance for the pouring rain that was to come for the rest of the week. But I think it was an accurate reflection of what it was like to work for a big television channel. It was an amazing experience, something almost all journalists aspire to. I know, some may say that their aim is to be a written journalist , radio or TV journalist. But your decision should remain open until you witness all three.
A day at SBS would usually begin with a coffee and awaiting the editors to accumulate the news for the journalists to prepare for that nights 6.30 news. The news usually trickles in the night before, and with communication lines open to all the differing bureaus around the country, the mornings are spent organising each separate story for that night. A meeting is held at 10am between all the editors to present all the stories to be included in that nights bulletin, to the Chief of News. These include the obvious news stories (during the week that ranged from battles in Libya and Ivory Coast, Immigration issues, The fallout from new polls on the PM, and so on), sports news, entertainment, and online.
Each journalist then moves to working on that one news story, whether international or local. Local news was, for an intern, a little more exciting because it meant that I was able to go out with a cameraman, to the site of the issue and film the segments to go out that night. These were the brilliant bits of my day, because it meant I got to go out and about and meet a range of different people. The people I met varied wildly throughout the week, from Shadow Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, Former Judge, Michael Kirby, author AJ Brown, Chef Matt Moran, to Chief Executive of the NRL, David Gallop, Chief executive of the Sydney Roosters, Steve Noyce and Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen. I could watch on behind the cameras as some squirmed under the spotlight, some robotically responded to questions and some just seemed to be excited to be receiving the attention.
Once the interviews with these people were done, an angle must be found to the day’s events. An example would be, when attending the NRL’s launch of their “Dream, Believe, Achieve” program for high schoolers, the journalist with me decided to take a positive spin on the story, in contrast to the issue surrounding Roosters playmaker Todd Carney’s court problems, with his sentence coincidentally being handed down that very day. The journalist made sure to cover that issue, filming a segment in front of the Roosters headquarters. It was fascinating to watch.
After our daily adventures, we would back at the office. The journalists would usually proceed to write up a script to go over the footage, and attempt to refine all the footage into a two minute package for the night’s news. That process usually could be smooth sailing if there is very little footage, however when reporting on an international issue, as many of the journalists had to do that week, there was an overwhelming amount of footage to sift through and edit. Coming from the many news wires SBS has subscribed to, there would normally be an immense amount of footage of issues from rebels fighting, to international speeches, protests and ministers comments. Taking all that and producing a good, flowing story would normally take all day, making up for the fact that we did not need to leave with a cameraman.
Finally, after all the footage is shot, the script is recorded in a high tech sound booth that looked too complicated for me, but was still fascinating to use. The recording is then dubbed over the footage, with tweaks made here and there, before the story is perfected and ready for that night. From there, almost everyone in the office stayed back to watch the news, seeing their hard work come to fruition.
I have to say, working at SBS has been one of the best experiences I’ve had uni so far. It was exciting, fast paced, on the ball with the latest news, as well as being chock full of larger than life characters. I can’t say I will ever forget it, unless one day I get to return as a full-fledged journalist. One day.