Behind the Scenes of a News Station
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Behind the Scenes of a News Station

The process of crafting a news story.

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Behind the Scenes of a News Station

College is a time for new beginnings, as you are in the process of figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life. Scary, yes, but it is incredibly exciting and eye-opening.

I just completed my junior year as an English major and Journalism minor, and have officially started the process of adventuring and exploring within my desired field. I was offered a News Internship at the local news station in my area, ABC's WNEP Newswatch 16. It is a prominent and successful station that takes pride in what they do.

The first day, nerves consumed me as I had no idea what to expect. I was stunned as I walked into the newsroom where editors, producers, reporters, and anchors work. Now, we all watch the news, but I think there is a lack of understanding what the actual process of conducting a story incorporates.

I was fortunate enough to shadow a reporter who is also an MMJ (multimedia journalist), meaning that he not only reports the story, but he shoots and edits it as well. Basically, the process begins with simply finding a story. Is it newsworthy? Will people be interested in it? Then, there is the process of conducting the interview, if need be, with whomever the story is about.

The story I was involved with covered a young man competing in the NHL World Gaming Championship. So, I went out with a reporter to the interviewee's home and absorbed everything. The process began with setting up the camera to ensure the lighting and angles were adequate enough to appear on TV. Then the reporter started asking the interviewee some questions about his background with hockey and gaming. Basically, anything that had to do with the topic of the story, and would lure in the audience. The reporter took some pictures and different video angles of the interviewee gaming as well.

After the interview was completed, the reporter and I went to the Sports complex where the interviewee played ice hockey when he was younger, and now works during the summer and holiday breaks. This is where the reporter shot himself talking, which would be used for the story on air. He also interviewed the owner of the complex, who knew the interviewee very well.

After the interviewing and shooting process, the reporter and I went into an editing booth. He chose the clips that he wanted in the story. Once he had all of the clips, he transcribed it into a script. This means he typed out everything that was said, which would be used for the voice over, and for the news site as well. (Basically a written form of the story). This also includes the captions that appear on screen during the story.

After the script is approved, the reporter then records his voice, essentially narrating the story. Once this is done, the reporter adds in pictures and transitions to complete the story.

Observing this process was an eye-opening experience, as I was unaware of the long process to craft a news story that is only shown for a few short minutes on TV. It allowed me to appreciate this field more than I already did.

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