There is more to broadcast journalism than sitting behind a desk and reading a script, and students at Eastern New Mexico University are learning that as they put together a newscast of their own.
News 3 New Mexico airs on KENW-TV on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. And the faces in front of the camera are more than just the on-air talent- the entire newscast, from editing to producing, is done by the students.
"It's pretty much a hardcore newscast, " ENMU Senior Jared Chester said. "We go in, we get stories, we cut stories, we edit, we shoot. And it's pretty amazing. We do the same one-man band, you know, shoot one day, edit all in the same day and we make a product for the newscast that night."
For those unfamiliar with media lingo, a one-man band refers to a reporter who goes to an interview, sets up the camera, does the interview and gets all the B-roll (extra video)- no photographer to help, no extra set of hands. And, yes, that is how it is done in the real world. Nowadays, a photographer is a precious commodity.
The students involved in News 3 New Mexico are not all broadcasting students; they come from all majors and some of them simply volunteer.
"We start writing stories, sometimes I help with the producing," ENMU Junior Eliana Goni stated. "Then I go to class. I come back and then I go to class again and I come back. And I stop for a small lunch, so it's pretty hectic. For some reason, it's so nice doing what we're doing here that it's not exhausting."
An entire day is spent planning a 30-minute newscast, and KENW-TV News Director Janet Bresenham makes sure her students know every aspect of it.
"As news director here, I require the students to spend time working on all the technical aspects, from producing to tape editing to teleprompter running to directing. If they want to be on air here, they have to pull their time behind the scenes."
Bresenham said when it comes to broadcasting, more than a degree is needed to ensure a good job.
"I know from being a journalist myself and from working with other journalists in broadcasting and journalism, you've got to have that hands-on experience. You've got to be able to show them that, yes, you have the education, but you actually know how to go out and do it."
The students are finding out the life of a journalist is quite different than some people imagine, but Bresenham said their hard work pays off and the skills they are learning will take them far once they get their feet in the door. After all, that door can open up to the paths that will lead them closer to their goals.