Staff Members Power Through Obstacles Caused by the Pandemic
The PGTV staff begins a typical day by watching the Daily 10 before moving into lessons about reporting and production techniques, utilizing Zoom’s breakout room feature for more one-on-one guidance.
Senior PGTV producer Mic’Kayja Tatum has had to make a lot of adaptations, especially to their recording process.
“The process of recording videos has changed drastically before we could just come up with an idea and go out and record but now we have to take into consideration so many more things like if the person we want to interview is in person or virtual, how are the reporters who are doing the interview going to record if they are at home,” Tatum said.
Before reporters can even think about recording segments, they have to generate ideas for segment content, which has been a taxing task this year.
“It’s been great to do segments on virtual learning, virtual teaching and virtual school in general but you can only do a segment on those topics so many times. Because covid has ended/delayed so many events we haven’t been able to report on some of the biggest segments we do every year like homecoming, sports in general, and spirit week,” Tatum said.
Senior producer Kelsey Johnston, also on the PGTV staff, is optimistic about the methods they’ve used to overcome content barriers.
“We have overcome [content problems] by focusing on students and staff pieces and doing more stories on the community,” Johnson said.
Similar to other learning spaces in the school, classroom dynamics have had to change to balance the workload between virtual and in-person students,” Johnston said.
“Mr. Waugaman is having the first years come up with ideas and the second/third years give advice on how they can film it, how to improve the idea, and why or why not it could work,” Tatum said.
Despite the many obstacles that the staff has had to overcome, there have been rewards as well. Along with new methods of content generation, PGTV has been using innovative ways to conduct interviews and share files.
“One of our first assignments was to interview a classmate over Zoom just to get a feel or how these would work this year. We found a lot of problems while doing it so that helped us avoid them when we did real interviews. Now that we’re midway through the semester, we have done some interviews through Zoom for the show and they have gone well. From what I’ve seen we’re still trying to find a solution to fix the quality of the audio, but so far it’s been pretty good,” Tatum said.
Google Classroom and Vimeo have been their main methods of sharing files to edit.
“Right now if you want to upload shared files we usually just post them on the classroom’s stream and the person editing will download the video, but lately we’ve started uploading to vimeo and downloading it from there and that has been way better and a lot easier,” Tatum said.
Like any team, members have to balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Staff member Salam Aldamiri praises creativity as her strong suit.
“My strength is being creative and giving all my best to produce a video, and my weakness is that sometimes I want things to be better and perfect, and I end up stressing,” Aldamiri said.
Tatum believes she is strong at more critical tasks.
“One of my strengths is definitely editing. I love to edit the videos and come up with the story ideas because I think outside of the box when it comes to topics we could cover. One of my weaknesses is reporting. I don’t like to be on camera. I just like to stay behind it and do all the behind the scenes work. I’m not trying to work on it at all and the school will probably never see me on camera,” Tatum said.