After hearing of hundreds of students being hospitalized at Rider and nearby Princeton University, Dr. Nancy Snyderman’s Nightly News team decided to make a story out of it. Not just a growing problem at school campuses, Norovirus is also notorious for bringing cruise ships to dock early. In the past month there have been at least 6 incidences of cruise ships (Princess, Royal Caribbean, and others) being hit with the virus, and all the cruisegoers had to be quarantined.
First we had to brainstorm elements. Stacey, the other research assistant / production assistant, explained to me what elements are. Basically, they are all the components of a story; for example, when we get this story assignment, we think about potential cruisegoers to interview, an infectious disease doctor to get on camera to talk about Norovirus, B roll (background shots) of the school campuses and cruiseships, maybe someone from the CDC…we make a list of all these possible parts of the story and then see what can be made into a reality.
Nancy’s producers have excellent relationships with doctors around the nation in every specialty imaginable, so we were quickly able to get Dr. William Schaffner, Vanderbilt Medical Center’s infectious disease expert, via a satellite link onto our system here. The producer did a brief interview with him and that’s what ended up in the final clip.
Also, I made a short cameo (well actually, the back of my head did) in the first draft of the story. Originally we had Nancy filming a section of the story as she walks around our office cubicles, and I was stationed at one of them! Unfortunately time constraints made that section into something she said live on set instead. Oh well, my two second claim to fame was exciting while it lasted