ABC Story: Bird’s Nest in Winter

The JMSC News on Campus team had another story accepted by ABC.

MJ student Li Li came up with the idea of reporting on the National Stadium in Beijing’s transformation into a winter wonderland.

MJ student Li Li in the 'Bird's Nest' Stadium in Beijing

MJ student Li Li in the 'Bird's Nest' Stadium in Beijing

The Bird’s Nest stadium, built for the 2008 Olympics, was pumped full of 25,000 tonnes of snow for the winter in order to create ski slopes, a snow covered mountain, ice-skating rink — a wintery playground for the Happy Snow and Ice Festival.

Li came across the story while interning at ABC Beijing over the winter break. She went to the stadium as the festival opened to record footage as part of her on-the-job training, and experienced what it was like to stand in front of the camera and report for the first time.

“We went to cover the story and on arrival the correspondent said to me: ‘Ok, here’s what we are going to do. I’m going to be the producer today and you are going be the reporter.’ I panicked for about two seconds but tried to be as confident as I could. At the end of the day, the work was done beautifully. I learnt loads of things about how to work with your cameraman during shooting and gave me a real idea of what it means to be a TV reporter on the job shooting”.”

Back in Hong Kong, she looked through the footage and thought that ABC in New York might like a package on the iconic stadium’s metamorphosis. Li pitched the idea at commissioning editor, Christina Caron, who said yes. As the festival comes to an end, the piece that ABC wants is a retrospective look at the event as it closes.

The snow mountain in the stadium

The snow mountain in the stadium

Li says that working for a real news organisation has been an incredibly useful part of her training at the JMSC.

“It’s a different process to that which we’re used to in school. Here you write a script, show it to the teacher, it gets changed and then you record your piece and cut it together. With ABC the script has gone back and forth several times — which can be incredibly frustrating but does teach you how real TV works. Christina Caron wanted more information in the script and also quite a lot of changes. However, the end result is a much improved piece, so it’s been worth it.”

Last week Li edited the final footage together and put on a voice track. It’s now in New York awaiting transmission.