Getting the Ball Rolling | Endowment Intern Sean

Host Gavin Jackson (L) speaks with Greenville News reporters Kirk Brown and Nikie Mayo (R)

Week 3 is nearing its end for me here at SCETV and I'm finally starting to get into a groove with more work each and every day. Since last week's blog, I've had a wide variety of experiences. In the last post, I mentioned the research I did for This Week in South Carolina. I got to watch the show get filmed, from a quick tour of the Kennedy Greenhouse Studio on the campus of USC to seeing the equipment in action to even riding with the whole TWISC team in the van over to USC. Afterwards, I would write the online post for that week's episode, using some of the research I did and picking out quotes from the show. It was very exciting to see my name published as the author of the story, which was completely unexpected, and it felt nice to get some recognition.

Right after returning from USC, Gavin and I drove up to Greenville to record an episode of his podcast SC Lede. Usually, we record here in one of the radio studios, but I guess it worked out better to interview the guests at the Greenville News, where journalists had written stories exposing South Carolina's prison system in the year since the deadly riot at Lee Correctional Institution. Just like with This Week in South Carolina, I researched these Greenville News stories and sent a report to Gavin along with some possible questions to ask. I also wrote the weekly Quorum Call for the week's podcast. Gavin had some work to finish before we got to Greenville, so I got to drive the company car! Aside from some slight difficulty parallel parking, we made it to the Greenville News and I set up the recording equipment in a conference room. Since its usual producer was still in Charleston for the Spoleto Festival, I was tasked with being the producer of the podcast. It was a lot of pressure, considering I still felt very new, but it was relatively simple and all I had to do was track everyone's levels; thankfully, I had some practice with this in college, so it went pretty well, and I'm happy with the final product. My first official responsibility was a success!

That was a busy and tiring day, but the work didn't stop there. There were a few more meetings I sat in on, including planning SCETV's 30th anniversary coverage of Hurricane Hugo, and a couple more videos to edit. There also was another episode of This Week in South Carolina. This week's episode didn't have me doing much prep beforehand because the guest was Jennifer Berry Hawes, who you might remember I wrote about last week and was the guest on last week's SC Lede podcast. Most of the information was reused and adapted for television, so there wasn't much research for me to do, but I did get a chance to essentially be the floor director for the show, wearing a headset and giving time cues to Gavin as they came in from the control room. It was great to be a (more official) part of the show.

And now all of this has led to my first big assignment of the summer. With both Gavin and Aimee out of town at the end of the week, I'm left to cover a story Gavin sent me all on my own. I will be at Fort Jackson covering a Vietnam War veteran's funeral, who is being buried with full military honors but with no family there to attend. Jake Tapper even tweeted about this story and lots of veterans groups are expected to attend in support of a fallen vet. This may turn into a long-form piece, if we see more of a trend with veterans buried without family to attend. I'm slightly nervous for my first big assignment because it's been a while since I reported a story and this is completely different, in terms of pressure, from editing. However, I am excited to see how the piece turns out and to get out of the office again (no offense, but writing these blogs is nowhere near as exciting as traveling and reporting)!