UCDC: You Have a Package

No, I’m not talking about a package you have to go to pick up at ResLife or the Parcel Center.

I’m talking about the endless number of finished videos that are used by media organizations during their news broadcasts. Think of them like finished three minute video projects – projects that would take normal college students a few days to complete – that editors in the bureaus can whip up in under two hours (with the right access to footage). Okay, this isn’t magic, but I’m highly impressed with the work ethic that these professionals have.

And these packages are important for more than just the quick process in which they are made: this is how those who still consume televised news are fed information. Think about how the average UCSD student consumes video news. Do you watch ATTN: or NowThis? Maybe a short VICE documentary every once in awhile? These pieces are designed and edited to tell a story – in other words, these people have time to make their own product, a commodity that isn’t inherent to those working for “mainstream media.”

So what did I do at work today? I watched – and tried my best to assist – while my superiors put together a package. Sifting through hours of previously recorded footage, recording and rerecording voiceovers from the reporters, editing it all so that it flowed together for a show that was going to broadcast two hours later… It was impressive.

But why does work like this even matter? Well… these news pieces define how our modern forms of media decide to put together their own work. Think about it: without looking to what major news outlets are producing, even our contemporary news would not “necessarily” have footage to critique. The footage that is used in videos that we see on social media is sourced from major news outlets. Unlike VICE or NowThis, not everyone can get cameras behind closed doors, but those who can will at least eventually put it on the internet. That’s often how the news organizations that many of us college kids prefer to read get most of their footage.

This is important for you, readers, to remember because it shows just how powerful traditional media still is. Remember that. Especially if you plan on fighting it.

In other news, summer said, “Peace out!” as soon as I moved to this city. The sun has not made a true appearance in the last five days. Still, I made some packing mistakes, as did everyone in this program. Here are the three biggies:

  1. Color. Some folks forgot that DC was not in California. While our beachy home likes to parade all sorts of whimsicalities – I’m talking pastels, fun prints, neons – DC wants your colors a bit muted. Professional (whatever that means). Pretty much everyone who wears yoga pants outside stands out as an expat. Being taken seriously in this city is important, so I’d say stick to packing for the business casual.
  2. Rain, Rain, Go Away. AKA, I should’ve left my open-toed shoes at home. Bring shoes that are going to support through the rain, ‘cuz the weather is unforgiving. Thankfully I brought three different pairs of black boots, so my sandals are staying happy and dry in my closet, but – my advice – leave the flip flops and Birkenstocks in California. Please. I’m begging.
  3. Falling For You all over again. As in, there are some amazing changing-leaves- and-slightly-frosted-mornings-and-hot-chocolate-in-gloved-hands kind of days coming very, very soon. But all of my “business casual” shirts are not equipped to handle that kind of cold. So now, my very kind parents are going to be sending me some of my warmer wear. But bringing some stuff with me would have reduced the number of clothing packages that I’ll be receiving soon. Avoid doing the same thing by bringing more pants than shorts with you.

Okay, America’s not dead yet! And DC is bustling. I hope SD is partying away, and that everyone’s still having fun, even though the quarter is rolling along quickly. DC has been amazing so far, but I do miss watching the sun set over the ocean. West Coast, Best Coast you know?

Cecily Swason is a Student Life writer for The Triton. She writes a bi-weekly Tuesday column on her experience at UCDC.