If you are working at news department in a TV channel as a reporter, a cameraman / camerawoman, producer or director; it means you have to be ready and adapt all unexpected, spontaneous situations with quick mind and movement. For instance if you are a reporter, in limited time you have to shoot your news, write it clear, brief and striking way, record your text mostly with your own voice, edit the material in a short time and present it to your chief. All have to be done in the limited time with the right way. Really hectic times!
Because of I worked as a reporter (and for couple of news as a camerawoman) as a Child News Coordinator and as a producer in TV channels, I can say mostly I lived the whole procedure.
I have unforgettable memoirs about my works at news, some of them made me feel myself lucky or funny or sad. As an example, I had a chance to interview with world famous French theorist, philosopher Jean Baudrillard (1929–2007) while he was in Istanbul for a meeting . I was using a heavy SVHS camera and my colleague Banu Gökçül was a reporter. After his speech we interviewed with him. He was little surprised about to see 2 young women in Istanbul, Turkey in 1993 for interview him and he made nice compliment us. It was a great honor for us benefit from his intellect and his thoughts about media criticizing.
While I was making culture & art news, I had an interview with world famous Turkish jazz musician and jazz drummer Erol Pekcan in his backstage after some recording for his concert. He was a cult figure in Turkish jazz history. He made the first jazz album in Turkey with jazz musicians Tuna Ötenel and Kudret Öztoprak (1947-2008) which called “Jazz Semai”(1978). And very soon after my interview he passed away in 1994. I think this interview I made with him was his last footage.
Giving for a funny (actually it was absolutely not funny for me in that time) example, I can not skip this case: I was planning to shoot an art gallery opening with a painting exhibition at night time and I came to work with elegant outfits. But in the middle of day we heard the announcement about a big fire in Halkalı city dump which is close to our tv station. I was one of the 2 reporters who is available at that moment because others were all in charged and outside for their news. So our chief picked me to shoot the news, I was very disappointed and upset. I found myself in the city dump on fire and garbages and ashes around me. It was the first time in my life that I saw hundreds of seagulls around us in the dump area. Till then I had seen them only around the seaside or just flying in the sky. I felt that like I’m in the “Birds“ movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock. I think I will never forget this disgusting smell. So after that day I tried to avoid having certain plans about my news.
Another difficulty of working at news, you have to watch many different rough footage like a tragic traffic accident, a violent murder or a disaster like the earthquake we had in 1999 in Marmara. While we had this earthquake I was a producer at CNNTURK, we were all working like crazy and as an emotional and sensitive person, it was really hard for me standing to watch incredibly, sadly rough footage and edit them. But you have to wipe your tears, skip the hard ones which is not possible to broadcast, find and choose more normal shootings, make your news and broadcast it as a professional. Your job is informing the people all around the world.
Although it’s neither my priority nor my ambitious or passion working at news department; I must admit I’m thankful about what I’ve learned while I was working at ATV and CNNTURK. Professionally, I like to control events, actions and follow my shooting plans. But I have my flexibility and ability to adapt myself unexpected situations and shootings. I like to find different angles spontaneously too on the other hand. Especially while you are shooting a documentary this is very important and necessary. So I think these special experiences I’ve had at news departments will always helpful for my future projects either documentary or fiction.