Producing the News from Medford, Ore.

If you’ve been interested in the field of broadcasting for more than five seconds, I’m sure you have already heard the standard warnings: you will make no money, you will work crazy hours, and you will be forced to relocate. And it’s all true. I make less money than I did during my work study, work from 11pm to 7am, and live over ,000 miles away from home. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.          

Luck is what led me to pursue a career in broadcasting. The opportunity to accept an internship at ABC 7 Chicago perfectly synced with the opening of our Convergence Studio, allowing me to participate in our first Loyola News Chicago class during my last semester of college. I found that the world of live television is exciting and rewarding. There is never a dull moment and you are hopefully providing the viewers with information that they need and that truly matters to them.

That’s how I feel about the last year I have spent producing NewsWatch 12 This Morning in Medford, Ore.

I can’t tell you if working in television will provide the same enthusiasm for you that it does for me, what I can tell you are a few things I’ve learned from my experiences.

If You Can Make It Here, You Can Make It Anywhere          

TV stations are under staffed and over worked. So, don’t be surprised if your training involves a few quick lessons before you are thrust out to fend for yourself. It’s sink or swim and in the last year I’ve seen a few people come and go as a result of both. But, if you can make it through when you are most shaky, you will be prepared for whatever comes next.

The first week I produced my show solo, the March 11th earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, triggering a wave that effectively damaged two boating harbors in our viewing area and the incomes of those who depend on fishing as their livelihood. Once the tumultuous workday that I was scarcely prepared for was over, I looked cautiously around to find that I had made it through, unscathed, and somehow still employed.          

While it may have been frightening, when its sink or swim you can’t just dip your toe into the water. Once you face that first day, that first obstacle, everything following it will seem like a breeze in comparison.          

 Everyone has to work together to make a newscast possible.  As a producer, I envision the show and I need the help of the entire crew to make my vision possible. No matter what, the news will air at its scheduled time meaning the work must get done before then. It’s always better to lend a hand, than it is to worry about who is to blame for an incomplete task. One day you will need to rely on a co-worker for their help and they will be there to let you lean on them.          

People Come And Go So Quickly Here

As I prepared to leave Chicago for the first time in my life, I thought a lot about meeting new people, making new friends, and even where I would go once the two year contract I signed with the station was through. But something that never crossed my mind was those who I would meet here in Oregon were going to leave too. In a small market station, by the time you leave the faces you see in the newsroom will most likely be unrecognizable from the day you arrived. The unavoidable reality of this business is that moving up means moving out. The great thing about this business is that those surrounding you will truly care about what they are doing. The same attitude that motivates their move, drives them to work hard and push you to do the same. And with every exiting co-workers comes the entrance of a new face who brings with them new perspectives, ideas, and opportunities to learn from one another.

It’s An Uphill Battle, But It’s All Uphill From Here           

I know that not everything I can say about my job is 100% positive, but that is the reality of this job, it can be difficult and stressful. This is my very first job and we all have to pay our dues when we enter the workforce.I wholeheartedly believe if you are willing to do that if will pay off later. I have high hopes that one day I will get to take down the black-out curtain that allow me to sleep while the sun is still up, and have a normal schedule. I know that these years in Medfordwill pay off in the form of opportunities and the freedom to pursue endeavors that will make me truly happy.          

I can tell you that if given the chance to travel back in time, I would not hesitate to sign the contract that led me here again.

Best of Luck,
Sarah Schueler