My First TV Interview
I was a little nervous and tense when I arrived at the WXIA 11 Alive TV station, an NBC affiliate in Atlanta, Georgia. I was scheduled to appear live on TV and butterflies were in my stomach.
It was barely 6 a.m. I told myself I would be fine because I was going on TV for great reasons: to discuss my article on Haiti relief efforts and introduce the Scholastic Kids Press Corps. I was excited to meet N'Naserri Crew-Johnson, a fellow Kid Reporter from Georgia, who had also written stories about Haiti relief efforts for a Special Report.
N'Naserri and I were seated on tall chairs like the ones movie directors use. We each had an ear plug in one ear so we could hear questions from Ms. Lowry. She was sitting in a different room on the set. I stared at the camera with a small smile just to boost my self confidence.
A few minutes later, the camera man counted down the seconds before going on air. He held up his fingers: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…and we were on!
Ms. Lowry began her introduction about the Scholastic Kid Press Corps while showing a walk through of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps web site on the screen. Then it was our turn to talk.
The first question to me was to tell about my assignment. The answer was inside of my article, and I was glad I was able to zip through that question by explaining my story on the Kroger Round-Up Program and the Red Cross interview I conducted.
The second and final question asked me to explain why I think teachers should use the Scholastic Kids Press stories. I answered that the web site is a great online source of appropriate news for kids by kids.
The TV interview was over so quick. I was hoping it would last a little longer. When the camera was turned off, all the staff gave us a nice standing ovation. The camera man commented that I spoke like a college student.
With the broadcasting out of the way, N’Naserri and I got our reward. Ms. Lowry gave us a tour the set for the morning program anchors and the control room, which I immensely enjoyed.
On the set, anchors Karyn Beck and Jill Becker were on commercial break, so we got to sit by them and have our pictures taken. This was my first time on a TV set. I learned how the morning program was produced live. I watched the anchors reading from the teleprompter and Ms. Becker talking to Matt Lauer (NBC Today show host) before the show began.
The control room was also unbelievable! In the control room, the producer and the director sit by a switchboard watching multiple TV screens. They work with intense focus to put all pieces of a report together seamlessly and perfectly in real time. From my experience, being my school morning news anchor, I know it is not an easy job.
What I learned really helped me understand the a TV reporter's job. When I grow up and look back, I will never forget about my first ever TV interview.
You can check out our interview on the 11 Alive web site.
PHOTO: From left are Scholastic Kid Reporter Andrew Liang, 11 Alive anchors Karyn Beck and Jill Becker, and Kid Reporter N'Nasseri Crew-Johnson on the WXIA 11 Alive set. (Photo Courtesy N'Nasseri Carew-Johnson)