Anatomy of a newscast: Part two

By two o'clock in the afternoon, the ProNews 7 newsroom is humming with lots of activity. Two o'clock also means it's time for the second meeting of the day. During the meeting, the newsroom discusses how the reporter's stories are coming along, has anything new happened, what else do we need to do before the next show?

Every person at the meeting has a different role, one that's crucial to the success of the newsroom.

"A great assignments editor is a storyteller, to be able to tell people what to do, manage that traffic, who's covering what and how is it all going to cut together ," explains Dr. Leigh Browning, Associate Professor of Mass Communication at WTAMU.

E ach day, th e assignment's editor comes up various story ideas, keep track of events and tons and tons of contacts. But, the person most identify with as being a storyteller is the reporter.

"The reporter is the workhorse of the newsroom ," says Browning. " They are working on setting up interviews and attending events and representing the station to really be the public face of the station outside of those standard slotted newscasts."

After a reporter has set up an interview for their story, they grab a camera and head out on location. There, they shoot the interview (A-roll) and plenty of cover video (B-roll) before heading back to the station to morph it into a story. They write, voice over, and edit all of their own video until it's been cut down into about a minute and a half long package.

Those packages, plus other small stories gathered throughout the day are all combined into a newscast.

" The producer takes everything that all of those people worked on and delivers it in a timely fashion, " said Dr. Browning. "I nserting commercials and those things that keep the lights, in a way that is seamless to the viewer, that they can remember and organized in terms of newsroom priority. "

By the time five o'clock rolls around, evening side reporters and anchors have all reported, most coming in at two in time for the meeting. It's also time for another show, so anchors take their places behind the desk and read through their scripts before going on the air.

"I go through and mark my scripts, just saying what camera we're going to be on, if I'm talking or if Jay's talking ", said ProNews 7 Anchor, Lisa Schmidt.

After each show, we take a big breath and immediately begin preparing for the next. At this point, it's three newscasts down and two to go.

For the third part of this series, click here or to go back to the first segment, click here.