SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Here at KELOLAND Media Group we work around the clock to bring you the day’s biggest stories.
Our nightly feature Eye on KELOLAND is one of the viewer’s favorite segments.
Don Jorgensen takes you behind the scenes to show you how we come up with those stories and get the interviews you want to see.
It’s only 9 a.m. and KELOLAND’s Kelli Volk and her photographer are already going on their second shoot of the day.
“I was trying to catch some pickleball players, so my photographer and I went out pretty early, we were on the pickleball court at 7:30 this morning,” Volk said.
Her story is an Eye on KELOLAND about pickleball and how popular the sport has grown in the Sioux Falls area.
So they went to a local park and were surprised by what they saw.
“I was expecting to find eight or 10 players, but I bet there were at least 30 players there,” Volk said.
Eye on KELOLAND’s, or as we like to call them, ‘Eyes’ are much longer stories that air on our 10 o’clock news.
“My favorite thing about an Eye is when I can really get to know the person I’m interviewing, sometimes, when you’re doing daily stories you’re really under a time crunch and while you put your best effort into it, you simply don’t have a lot of time to do a story,” Volk said.
According to our assignment editor Dexter Gronseth, Eye on KELOLAND’s are meant to be special, so he allows reporters and photographers more time to dig a little deeper into the story; whether it be a feature, a follow-up story to a tragedy (building collapse) we’d been following for months, or an investigative story. (DCI Sting from a few years ago)
“It gives the reporters time to tell a longer format story. They can go into more details, reveal more layers to the story; gives them a chance to be a little more creative and same with the photographers, it allows them to have some fun with the story,” Gronseth said.
Every reporter and anchor at KELOLAND has to do at least two Eye on KELOLANDs every month.
It can be a painstaking process waiting for the right interviews, returned phone calls, and even the right weather that will help tell the stories.
“I don’t think they know how much time a reporter and photographer put into these things, it’s not just hatched overnight you come up with Eye ideas for the whole month, you thought them out, they are on the list and then you go and do it a week, two weeks, several days before they air,” Gronseth said.
Some Eye on KELOLAND’s reporters have written are 90% complete, but we still can’t air them yet, because we’re waiting on confirmation on a key piece of evidence or an important interview that will complete the story.
“Think about the investigative stuff it’s an ongoing project some of it has gone on for months you know just waiting for that piece of the puzzle, so the story is ready to go,” Gronseth said.
In lighter stories, say a feature, reporters like Volk go out with photographers on a daily basis, but sometimes Volk likes to shoot her own stories, including Eye on Kelolands.
She prides herself on her photography skills.
“I like to look at what’s happening around me thinking what tells the story and what would make a good picture like if I took a snap shot of this would this be a good picture I could hang on the wall or something,” Volk said.
She may be right, after all a picture is worth a thousand words.
The thought process when we started doing Eye on KELOLAND’s in the early 90’s is that our research showed us, we needed to give viewers a reason to watch a little bit later into the 10 p.m. newscasts.