Last week marked two years since I first entered the professional television news world. I actually almost completely missed it. If it weren’t for my colleague (who started at my last company on the same day as I did) pointing it out, I wouldn’t have remembered. So, what does that say? Am I that much of an exhausted zombie lately that I can’t remember things like that, which I never had any trouble recalling? Or is it just that it feels like so much longer?
That first day is one I will never forget. I couldn’t believe I was a real-life Television News Producer. I’ll never forget my interview for that job, and I’ll never forget the moment I accepted that job. Three years out of college with a B.A. in broadcast journalism and numerous internships in the industry, and I was finally offered what, up until then, I’d never known was actually my dream job. When I sat down in the producer seat for the first time, it felt right. It was like everything I had ever wanted and worked for all came down to this moment, when everything fell into place.
I remember being the unsure producer, whose writing skills weren’t quite as sharp as I’d have liked, and maybe I was a bit of a slower video editor. It’s remarkable to look back and realize the journey you’ve taken in a short amount of time. Two years later, I know I’m a much better producer than I was when I first started. But that’s the hope in any job, right? It’s worth acknowledging, though, that it feels a little bit different when you’re doing something you love, and it’s something you never thought possible. When I worked in advertising – my first “real world, grown-up” job out of college – I came a long way after a while there too. But that was quite different from going to work every day to do something I always dreamed of doing. That is, making television.
I’ve heard it said that you should always be a little bit nervous when you get to work. When you work in television news, there are an infinite number of things that can go wrong. The teleprompter goes out. The live shot goes down. The video doesn’t come in on time. The reporter with the lead story misses deadline. The lead story changes at three minutes to the top of the show. Breaking news. It happens. These are the types of situations that prove to be examples – at least for me. I often look back at the end of my day at how I was somehow able to wrangle a coherent newscast out of everything going wrong behind the scenes. And when everything on television is smooth and makes sense – well, that’s the most rewarding of all. It’s perhaps a bit obnoxious of me to say much of this, but I am certainly proud of how far I’ve come. Two years ago, I had no idea I’d be working the job I am and getting the experience I am. But as they say – you never know.