Reporter Notebook: London Journal Day One

This is the opportunity of a lifetime for a news reporter.
Me conferring with former Prime Minister David Cameron outside of 10 Downing Street.  (No, not...
Me conferring with former Prime Minister David Cameron outside of 10 Downing Street. (No, not really. It is a wax figure at Madame Tussaud's in London a few years ago.)(David Whisenant-WBTV)
Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 6:49 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Yes, I was really excited to get the assignment, but honestly, there’s a lot of apprehension. Today is the day I leave Charlotte to fly to London to cover events leading up to, and including the funeral of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

This is the opportunity of a lifetime for a news reporter. It’s a chance to cover world history from the front row and to witness the incredible end of an era of a monarch that has ruled as head of state of the United Kingdom and 14 other realms for more than 70 years.

My responsibility is to find the images and interviews that tell a compelling story of how folks are dealing with the loss of Elizabeth II and what she has meant to them. I’ll be looking for folks from the United States, and especially anyone from the Carolinas.

» Related story: Charlotteans with British ties remember Queen Elizabeth II

I’ve been a history buff for most of my life and have always been fascinated with British history and the Royal Family. There are so many fascinating characters and they have played such an important role in shaping the world we live in now. Some for better, some for worse, but all with a story to tell. For proof, just read a few paragraphs about Charles II!

I’ve been to England before on three occasions. Each time it has been for vacation, and each time was wonderful. London, Portsmouth, Leeds, and of course Salisbury have been the places I’ve enjoyed the most. I’ve also made some true friendships with several folks in London through social media, and have been able to meet them in person on my most recent trip.

On the practical side, today I will serve as a beast of burden. It takes more than a camera and a microphone to tell a story on TV. I’m loaded down with a tripod, lights, big batteries, little batteries, a computer, all kinds of chargers and power supplies, and all kinds of other stuff that I barely recognize.

I’ll be based in the CBS compound on top of the Methodist Central Hall. It’s across the street from Westminster Abbey and should be a great place to work. Hopefully, some of the CBS folks will be able to help me with the technical aspect of getting my face and my stories on the air. I’ll be on WBTV, but also on other affiliated TV stations all over the country and I’ll be working closely with Rick Folbaum with CBS 46 in Atlanta.

I’ve just about got everything packed, just a few more batteries to throw in a bag. I’m looking forward to this trip and will try and provide updates as often as I can. Meanwhile, tune in to WBTV at 6:00 a.m., 5:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. each day beginning Wednesday to see if my own British invasion has been successful!