Busman’s Holiday

So on a widely celebrated holiday a couple months ago, I got a special gift from my family: a very cool little audio recorder. This was in recognition, I think, that: 1) I’m a swell guy, 2) my journalistic endeavors now involve working with sound, and 3) that I put this item on my Amazon wish list.

This morning, my little recorder had an on-air debut of sorts. I went up to the Cal baseball double-header yesterday to try to talk to people about the university’s decision to eliminate the team next year. (Digression: The university has deepening budget problems as its state resources dwindle. Tuition has gone up 44 percent over the last three years to make up part of the gap, and the administration wants to reduce the deficit in the intercollegiate athletics program as part of a workable long-term budget. All that makes sense to people. What has made less sense, or at least is much less understood among the Old Blue community, is the process by which UC-Berkeley decided last fall to end baseball, rugby, men’s and women’s gymnastics, and women’s lacrosse, then reinstate all but baseball and men’s gymnastics (for a taste of the frustration with these decisions, check out this post from my KQED colleague Jon Brooks). The politics is complex, and involves both the university’s handling of potential sports donor and its obligations under Title IX, the federal law that prescribes gender equity in education programs. But even if one buys the official rationale, one might feel a certain disconnect from reality when watching the baseball team take the field. It’s ranked 17th in the country and provided an opening-day gift for fans by sweeping its two games against Utah yesterday–taking the nightcap with a four-run rally in fading daylight in the bottom of the ninth. End of digression.)

Where were we? I went up and did some interviews and recorded some game sound at Evans Diamond. Then I came home, fired up the never-used-before sound editor I bought earlier in the day, Hindenburg (this one, not this one). I transferred my audio to the computer, eventually figured out how to edit it, wrote a script that incorporated the sound I’d chose (this was a “cut and script,” a piece in which an anchor reads tracks around soundbites), did a quick edit with one of the other news folks, then uploaded everything to an FTP server to be downloaded for use this morning.

The final product is here (second item in the newscast).

5 Replies to “Busman’s Holiday”

  1. Your morning anchor dude said “the Cal Women lost to USC 67 to 80.” Someone needs to tell him the winning score goes first. 🙂

  2. I think the score was read correctly.
    USC beat the Cal women, 80-67, is the way we’re used to hearing it but the Cal women lost to USC, 67-80, I think, is correct. The first score should go to the team mentioned first.
    I’m assuming the Cal women lost to the USC women. If they lost to some other USC team, we have a whole other story. 🙂

  3. Rob, there’s logic–which you employ perfectly here–and there’s custom–which is something not to be lightly trifled with. It’s customary when reporting the results of English football (soccer) to give the scores the way you suggest. That’s simply not the case here–go read your favorite sports section or site or listen to your daily sportscast if you don’t believe me. If I say the Giants beat the Marlins 7-6, you have no doubt what I mean. And if I say the Giants lost to the Marlins 7-6, you still are perfectly clear on my meaning. Believe me, it would hit your ears wrong if you woke up to a newscaster saying the Saints fell to the Bears 19 to 32.
    I’m not arguing this is the only way to do things. It’s just the customary way. This particular announcer has a history, and when he started reading scores his way, the audience let him know right quick they thought he was getting it wrong.

  4. “Believe me, it would hit your ears wrong if you woke up to a newscaster saying the Saints fell to the Bears 19 to 32.”
    True, but not for the reasons you suggest here. 🙂
    I’m perfectly OK with the custom. I would have said the USC women beat the Cal women, 80-67, even if I was reading to a mostly Cal audience.

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