Monday, December 12, 2005

My Visit to a TV Network

Hi again from Doha. Today was very exciting for me. Keith and Kristin took me along as they visited Al Jazeera, the most watched Arab news channel.

Keith and Kristin told me that some people do not like Al Jazeera. But they also told me that as journalists they must be fair when they present a story. So they visited Al Jazeera because it was important to talk with Al Jazeera even if some people don’t like its point of view.

Keith and Kristin were there to talk with the managing director and top editors. They visited the big newsroom gathering sound of people working. The newsroom is where journalists put together newscasts. It is very colorful and has lots of TV screens. The newsroom was very busy today with people rushing around. Keith and Kristin told me there was an important news story happening while we were in the newsroom and that’s why people were in a big rush.

Here you can see me with Kristin near a TV and a machine they call a teleprompter.

The teleprompter is what the news people read when they are on the air. I always wondered how news people could tell the news without looking at a paper. Now I know.

My favorite part of the visit was the tour of the “control room.” This is the room where people direct the newscasters and reporters. This room has many TV sets on one wall and the workers can switch from one screen to another. I think you have to be very smart to work in the control room because all of the TVs and buttons looked very confusing to me.

I am learning that being a journalist is hard work. When Keith and Kristin return to the hotel they must download all of the audio they record to their computer, work on photos and write their stories. They call their stories scripts. Here I am watching Kristin as she works on a script.

One thing I have noticed is that the electrical outlets here in Qatar are not the same as in America. This means Keith and Kristin have to use special connectors to make their equipment work. Here you can see me standing near the outlet Kristin is using to power her computer. You can see all of the connectors she is using are almost as big as me!

Until next time.....