So, this is my second week reading the news on Wednesday mornings for WNRN. I've been up since 4:00 AM, and know more about the world then I usually do before this time of day. The idea is to develop three sets of three stories each, to be read every twenty minutes. For me, the process is exhilirating, and gives me new appreciation of what news actually is.
Though I've worked in public radio off and on since 1995, I've never actually done a live news shift. I have hosted WVTF's Evening Edition a couple of times, and stumbled quite badly under the spotlight of the old "kidney room" studio. I knew the topic for each show backwards and forwards, but I need a script in front of me when the microphones are opened up. I stuttered, stammered, and stumbled, panicking on live radio, forgetting to breathe! And, you can't do that.
This new experience at WNRN is even more challenging, because I don't get a second chance to improve a take. If I stumble, I get called on it. And that's such a good thing, isn't it? And boy, are there stumbles!
Today, I didn't do so badly. I read the copy pretty well, and managed to not sound too cheery and chipper while reading stories about death and destruction.
The shift is now over, and it's back to the usual workday.
Tune in next Wednesday, starting at 6:00 AM, to see how I do, and if I'm improving. I'm afraid there will still be stories about death and destruction, though.