If Saturday was my busiest day yet, Sunday was probably my slowest day. I actually stayed late last night logging a press conference by the president of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge, where he addressed a variety of issues from doping to the security of the games.
The press conference started at 8pm and lasted about half an hour. I had to “live-log” the event which basically means writing down notes, quotes and timecode while the press conference was going on.
It’s too bad that I didn’t grow up to be a stenographer because all of my notes were all over the place with misspellings and bad grammar everywhere. I had to send one of the producers a copy of my log and I warned him it would be really raw. He didn’t seem to mind at all.
This morning, I re-logged the presser and luckily for any IOC/LOCOG press conferences, we get a full transcript online, word-for-word. So all I had to do was put the correct timecode in the transcript. Other than that, there really wasn’t much to do. The sun has been out, surprisingly, but I don’t want to leave my desk just in case something comes up.
Turns out nothing did. But the spare time allowed me to get to know some of the producers and some of the stories that they are working on during the Olympics. Lester Holt was working on a “Learn to Fence” story while a producer was looking into going to some of the local food markets that London is famous for.
And while I couldn’t spend much time outside in the sun, at least I could see the sun with all the feeds that I could tune into from my desk. I have a list of sources with codes that I could just punch up. For example, BTY4 means Beauty Shot 4 and shows me a nice angle of Olympic Park. There are hundreds of feeds that show everything from the beach volleyball venue to gymnastics to what’s being shown on the air, and also cameras in the studio and even what someone is editing in the suites (kinda creepy).
Most of the feeds right now are in bars and tone since the cameras aren’t up yet, but I’m looking forward to being able to watch any event I want from my desk. I may not be live at a venue, but this is certainly a benefit of being in the IBC.
We went pub-hopping at night and since it was a Sunday, most of the pubs were relatively quiet, which was fine. Sometimes you just want to enjoy a nice drink with your mates. Since the weather has been so nice, we were able to sit outside on a picnic table. Little did we know this would be an interesting place to watch some drama.
A homeless woman approached us and asked for some money. We declined and said no and then moved on to the other tables and also went inside the pub. She came back out and then approached a table full of Chinese people and you can tell that there was a language barrier here. Those at the table didn’t quite say no and the homeless woman continued getting frustrated, getting angry at one point.
“You are wasting my time, just say yes or no!” she said. “I am not happy!”
She ended up retreating back to her spot outside a doorway just across the restaurant and then begged from a husband and wife couple that walked by. Another back and forth conversation happened and then the wife told the homeless woman to “F*** off!”
Well that didn’t make the homeless woman happy so she got up and confronted the couple with the husband sticking his arm out between the two females who looked like they were about to quarrel. As the couple started walking away, the homeless woman followed. The husband eventually defused the situation and made the choice that most should take — keep walking.
The homeless woman wasn’t done yet. She reapproached the table of Chinese visitors and with my back facing the table, I didn’t see the entire incident. But I didn’t have to because just by watching the reaction on the faces of those who could see the action, they were in awe. I could hear the woman continue to yell at one of the Chinese men and one of my friends said that she was surprised by how quickly he reacted and ran away. Jaws dropped. It was an entertaining time for a drink.
At the last pub we went to, the Shakespeare’s Head, we met up with a correspondent from Telemundo and he was telling us what their operation was like. It’s a much smaller scale compared to the man-power behind NBC Primetime or even NBC Daytime but they still play a huge role in providing the stories because they cater to the ever-growing Spanish-speaking audience in the United States. We traded stories of where we studied, why we wanted to do journalism, etc.
You try and meet new people every day and hopefully you can make a good impression on them that they’ll notice you when you walk down the hall.