NEWS DOESN’T HAPPEN INTHE NEWSROOM Chandra Clark, Ph.D. The University of Alabama
Wanted: Assignment Editors Assignment Editors Need:• Excellent Phone Skills• Decision Making Ability• Tolerance and Understanding
Source: Bob Papper (2010) RTNDA/Hofstra University Annual Survey
Assignment Editor Exercise: • Created with the help of a colleague who was an assignment editor for 10 years in 2 markets • Give students a deadline of an hour before newscast starts • Based off a “real” news day in the Birmingham/Tuscaloosa news market • Build a newsroom competition by creating teams of 3-4 to battle ideas off each other • We call these “Spot News Fridays”Time Crunch: 5 pm News
News Crew & ShiftPHOTOGRAPHERS:• GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS 9A-6P (HAS TO LEAVE AT 400P, WIFE IN LABOR)• WOLF BLITZER 8A-5P (CAMERA BREAKS AT 3PM)• DIANE SAWYER 4:00P-12:00A• BRIAN WILLIAMS 3P-11PREPORTERS:• MATT LAUER 930A-630P• KATIE CURIC 3P-11P
Available Equipment• 1 ENG LIVE TRUCK (ONLY PHOTOGRAPHER CAN OPERATE)• 1 SNG LIVE TRUCK (SAT OPERATOR ON DUTY)• 1 TOWER CAMERA (HIGHWAY CAM)• 1 NEWS CAR FOR EACH PHOTOGRAPHER. 1 CAMERA FOR EACH PHOTOGRAPHER.•
Spot News Friday• *3:00PM: A PROPANE TANKER TRUCK EXPLOSION ON INTERSTATE 20/59. NEAR MCFARLAND BLVD EXIT. NEWS DEPARTMENT TOWER CAMERA IS NEARBY.• *3:00PM: THREE BODIES FOUND ON UA CAMPUS. YOU HEAR IT’S NEAR BRYANT DENNY STADIUM. POLICE ARE NOT YET ON SCENE.• *3:30PM: NEWS CONFERENCE TO DISCUSS THE FUTURE OF U OF A’S HEAD FOOTBALL COACH. NO OTHER INFO IS RELEASED. YOU HEAR RUMORS NICK SABAN WILL BE FIRED.• * 4:00PM: RESCUE CREWS RESPOND TO A SHOOTING ON 15TH STREET. NOT SURE IF TODDLER IS INVOLVED, DISPATCHERS NOT TALKING.• *2:00PM: POLICE SCANNER REPORTS A STUDENT FIRED SHOTS INSIDE CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL GYM. CAN’T CONFIRM BY PHONE• *5:00PM: TUSCALOOSA MAYOR’S STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS.
5 pm RundownSlug/Story Event Time Story Type Equipment/Ve PhotographerOrder (vo, vo/b, live, hicle /Reporter pkg)220.127.116.11.5.
What They Learn• Time Management Skills• Logistical Thinking• Think out of the box• Call employees in early• Learn how to double and triple tease at the start of a newscast• Think about what story impacts your audience first• Utilize other employees• Get interns to help out• Use producers/videographers to report when reporter can’t• Do phoners with citizens or people on the scene• Call a cab to deliver someone to the scene• Report what people are saying on social media
What I Learn• Students do not understand it’s a good paying job• Students need to understand they will be working with an assignment editor• Students learn to respect logistics• Students learn how they will be making decisions that affect the entire newscast• Students find out to be nice to the assignment editor at all costs; they can make or break you