Live From The Cutting Room Floor

It has been 11 years since I was just beginning middle school, when I realized I wanted to be that woman on the TV that I had watched everyday as I got ready in the mornings…and maybe one day, inspire a younger me.

When I first declared my major in Television Journalism, I didn’t realize the depth of work I signed myself up for, nor did I realize I would love every minute of it.

TVJ students at WVU really get that hands on training from beginning to end. I am currently a part of the SOJ Spring 2012 Newscast and I couldn’t ask to be a part of a better crew. Everything is just like a real newsroom. That’s what I love about this program, they put you in real world situations so when you really get out there, you’re one step-ahead of your competition. Now you have the opportunity to be ahead of the rest as well, right here, right now…live from the cutting room floor.

Every Monday morning, the crew holds a news meeting to pitch story ideas to our teacher. We all must have 3 ideas that are related to our beat. We work on a beat system so that every student has a clear focus for each of their individual stories. I am the Entertainment Reporter (and Assistant Producer), and believe it or not, it is one of the toughest beats to have in Morgantown.

After we all have pitched our ideas to Professor Dahlia, she helps us choose the best one.  We are given three days to set up and shoot interviews, catch b-roll and edit our package. After the producer’s meeting, the top 5 reporters with the best packages that week receive a phone call informing them that they have made show. One thing I love about that is; it is different every week, so everyone has a shot at making show and even being live on set. After this is when all of the fun begins…

Bright and early every Wednesday morning, the crew meets at the studio for the current week’s taping. Right now we are taping episode 6 with our anchors Josh Marshall and Alex Koscevic. We all work as a team and try to help each other as best as we can so the show goes as smooth as possible. We all are assigned different positions and plan to master them well before the end of the semester. Our director Wayne really takes control of situations and has a lot of energy back in control room and our producer Caitlin is a perfect fit. Both of their energies really aid the process and it is received by everyone on set.

There are so many technical positions during a newscast, so you really have to be paying attention at all times. One thing I hear almost every week?…”TIME IS MONEY!!!”, and it’s true. The University invests a lot of money in the journalism school. Whether it is new HD cameras, tripods, Mac computers, and the most expensive investment of all…the studio at the Waterfront where all of the magic happens.

As I approach the end of my journey here at the J school, I realize now that all of the late nights and early mornings in the edit lab are already paying off.

-AML

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4 comments
  1. I’ve been keeping up with WVU News tapings and think all of you are doing a great job! You mentioned how the entertainment beat is surprisingly difficult in Morgantown. Why is that? And what have you had to do to compensate for the challenges it’s brought about? Here’s a link to a post from the Journalism blog of the Glasgow School for Business and Society at Glasgow Caledonian University that discusses covering the entertainment beat: http://caledonianblogs.net/journalism/our-stories-our-bylines/running-in-heels-and-covering-the-entertainment-beat/.

    • Autumn L. said:

      Thanks for the link! Pretty cool info on there 🙂 But to answer your question, the entertainment beat is a tougher beat to have for many reasons. Although people, especially students in Morgantown know about the nightlife and it’s reputation, our newscast represents the school and I do not want to come off like I would be promoting drinking-especially underage drinking. Also, even though Morgantown hosts many concerts and events at the CAC, most shows do not allow cameras-even if it is for the news. If we have guest speakers, I would have to contact their PR people or their agents and that is a whole process that could take weeks to set up. That wouldn’t be such a problem if I wasn’t constrained to shooting, editing, and having my package complete in three days. To overcome some of these obstacles I try to focus my stories on open-to-the-public events or fundraisers that have an entertaining edge.

  2. Entertainment usually is a bunch of fluff to some people but you can look beyond the typical subject matter. You can expand into healthy areas as well…..check into some of the farms around Morgantown and see the kinds of events they hold.

    • Autumn L. said:

      That’s exactly my point. Entertainment can be fluff and WVU News is pretty traditional so it was kind of difficult to add in entertainment to the show sometimes. I took it upon myself to make it happen though.

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