We spend a lot of time here in The Garage making sure our cars and trucks are running right and not driving us crazy with mechanical gremlins.

Why do we do it? Probably because we need our vehicles to get us to all the places we HAVE to go. We (at least here in “flyover” country) live in mostly a car-dependent society.

But we also like to keep our vehicles in good shape because sometimes they take us places we WANT to go. I recently got to bring a University of St. Thomas Journalism student where she wanted to go for a day, and that was WCCO-TV. Logan Bartness “shadowed” me for a day, and she wrote a blog about her experience that I am sharing here, complete with her pictures.

March 5 will be the one-year anniversary of the death of WCCO reporter Darcy Poland. It is worth noting that young Logan not only remembers Darcy, but considers her a role model.


VO, VOSOT, and Packages … Oh My!

B-Roll, VO, VOSOT, packages and TZ, what? My day shadowing WCCO Photojournalist/Producer Gordy Leach started with some confusion. His news jargon filled responses to my questions seemed to be in a different language, but after many questions and clarifications, I was able to pick up on some of the terms and follow his answers about a “typical” day in broadcast journalism.

Gordy picked me up at 9 am and we headed to the State Capitol. I was so glad to finally be on the way. It took awhile to get to sleep the night before because I was so anxious and excited. For some reason I kept comparing myself to Dorothy and her trip to the Emerald City. As Gordy and I were driving to the capitol he informed me that the van we were riding in was the same van used by late WCCO reporter Darcy Poland used. Being in her van was such an honor and the perfect start down the yellow brick road. At the capitol we covered a hearing for a bill that would increase the penalty against anyone who injured a police dog, in my opinion a very good bill. Sitting in on this type of a hearing was also a new experience for me, bonus! Once the hearing was over we interviewed Officer John Jorgensen, whose K9 partner, Major, was stabbed and paralyzed while trying to apprehend a suspect. We then made our way through the underground tunnel to the WCCO on-site newsroom where Pat Kessler was waiting to let us know that he did not need the footage we just shot of the hearing or the interview. By this time it was about 11:30 so Gordy and I grabbed a quick lunch. We ate in the car so we would be ready to drive in case he got a call and then went to the Minneapolis WCCO newsroom.


(credit: CBS)

Although being at the Capitol was interesting, I was really looking forward to seeing the newsroom, the Emerald City. After I got my visitor badge we went to Gordy’s desk so he could check on his assignment. He gave me a quick tour that was full of introductions and then we got down to editing the 20 plus minutes of footage. I asked Gordy how long it would take to edit and he answered, two to three hours. WHAT! I couldn’t believe it! I thought he was kidding. Two to three hours to edit a one minute eight second clip? That seemed insane! I thought the next few hours were going to be really boring but they weren’t. Watching Gordy pick out sound bites, deciding which video to use and laying different audio over different video was the most interesting part of the day. Those few hours, that I thought were going to drag on, sped by and suddenly it was already 4 pm and my day shadowing Gordy was about to come to an end.


(credit: CBS)

Once Gordy sent his SOT to the server and changed it from offline to online, we fulfilled another aspect of his job, which is to service the news cars. So we dropped off Toyota Rav-4 number 12 at Firestone to have its brakes changed and walked back to the newsroom. Gordy introduced me to more of his co-workers and he took my picture at various places around the newsroom and with Frank Vascellaro and Amelia Santaniello, both very nice people. Then I returned my visitor badge and my trip down the newsroom yellow brick road was over.


(credit: CBS)

B-roll – video with just pictures; VO – voice-over; VOSOT – voiceover sound on tape; Package – a video that runs for a minute to a minute and a half; and TZ – tease. At the beginning of the day those acronyms meant nothing to me, but by the end of the day I was using them in conversation. I have a new appreciation of how much work goes into a half hour news broadcast. Eight hours of work for a minute’s worth of news – Oh my!

  1. Granda says:

    That’s my girl! I left school at 14 so don’t know if you wrote a report, as essay or what, what I do know is that it is terriffic. The theme of the Yellow Brick Road was inspired and to top it all you had fun.Gordy sure did you a big favor.

    Love, Granda