Anatomy of a newscast: Part one

At three o'clock in the morning, while most of you are still sleeping, the clock in the ProNews 7 newsroom is already ticking. The morning producer has been in since about midnight getting ready for the first newscast of the day -- one of five.

"In putting together a newscast, a lot of people out there don't realize what really goes on behind the scenes and how much work there is to pull off this 30 minute show and that's just the 5:00 o'clock ," said Pronews 7 Anchor, Lisa Schmidt. " There's also 30 minutes at 6:00 o'clock, 10:00 o'clock and the beast of Daybreak, a huge show every day, and of course our noon show."

Times ticks on and by five o'clock, it's time for the first show. But putting together a two hour morning show is no small feat, the morning producer has been working hard for several hours gathering news, writing stories and editing video so that by the time the on-air button lights up at 5:00 a.m. -- you've got newscast to watch.

"People would be amazed at how many people it takes to put together a newscast ," said WTAMU Associate Professor of Mass Communication, Dr. Leigh Browning. "From producing, to directing, to camera shots, to editing, to audio, to graphics, weather and sports, and just all kinds of things."

Most of the news team arrives around nine o'clock and that's when the real hustle and bustle of the day beings. Producers, assignments editors, reporters and early show anchors all meet in the newsroom to decide what's happening in the news world and what's going to make it into each show throughout the day. Once that's decided, each story is named and typed into the "rundown" or what the producer uses to organize each newscast.

Now, it's about 9:30 a.m. and reporters head out to being working on their story, or "package", for the day. Everyone else that remains in the newsroom begins their cohesive effort to continue working on the next newscast -- in ProNews 7's case, Midday.

"The moment the morning show is over, which was prepped based on the overnight, we begin working on the overnight, in fact before the morning show is over ," said Dr. Browning. " While we're efforting the noon show, the daily reporters and crew have already reported to start working on the five."

By noon, it's already time for another show. Some reporters may already be back and writing their story, while others may still be out and about getting interviews or shooting video.

Like in every newscast, the viewer sees the anchor but not much else. Truth is, there's a lot happening that most people don't know about. The control room director controls the camera shots, the anchor's microphones and when certain video clips are pulled up on the screen. Without them, the show would "not" go on.

By the time the noon is over, the morning show crew (who's been in since the wee-hours of the morning) finally gets to end their day and head home. But for news at ProNews 7, the day isn't even halfway over.

Click here for the second part to this series, or click here for the third segment.