First Half Re-Cap Of BDJ Summer Session I

First Half Re-Cap Of BDJ Summer Session I

The first half of summer capstone is now finished and I can’t believe it. I’m honestly starting to get a bit nervous of how little time we have left at Syracuse for the summer. We have finished three, long weeks of rotating jobs to be an anchor, day-of reporter, social media producer, producer, associate producer, weather, sports reporter, and video editor. I have had the opportunity to do most of these already, but with almost each role we do something different and we always have our own daily duties long with a package and/or digital piece. Our days start usually the night before, watching the news or the AP wires, and reading the newspaper to catch story ideas to do on our own or to advance. Then we come in at 8:30 a.m. to get situated really quickly with our producers, and then have our first rundown meeting at 9 a.m.

At the first rundown meeting we must come with story pitches, not ideas. My professor always said that ideas are something that have not been all the way thought through, and pitches are something that we have already had a pre-interview for, know the facts presented and can tell the story in and out. No matter what the role is, we have to come with a pitch — that goes into your participation grade for the newscast overall.

After that, we must go into our respective roles and get ready for the day. If you’re reporting, you must talk with your producers to see what story they want and if they want you to do a live hit. If you’re producer/assistant producer, you must start creating your rundown and slugs with all the elements and graphics in it. If you’re anchor, you must start writing the national and international block with graphics, video and slugs. All video goes to the video editor, who edits it together for the newscast. The national and international news changes almost all day if it’s not something that’s really big.

Throughout the day we are actively watching the AP wires and news outlets such as MSNBC, CNN, WSYR, CBS and etc. to see what they’re leading with and what are the top stories for the day. Every time we turned the news on we were usually leading with all the same stories — for us, that’s great for practice and for our grade!

By noon we must all be quiet for a minute and watch the local news to see what’s the lead story and if they’re live. We have to check to see if we can send someone to the story and/or if we need to add it to our local news throughout the show. This is when it’s one of the loudest times in the newsroom because we’re all trying to figure out if we want to kill a story or add one.

By 1:30-2 p.m., all reporters should be back and editing their content. Any later and you could miss your slot…and you never miss your slot.

By 3:30 we’re printing scripts/rundowns and getting in our spots, all mic’ed up. And at 4 p.m. we’re recording live. Then again at 4:45 p.m.

Once both shows are over, which is usually around 5:15 p.m. we do our last meeting to go over what went well with producers and our directors.

We do this every other day. On the days we don’t have our newscast, we help the other class with their newscast being their prompter, floor manager or helping with the Dejero (lived camera equipment). We have been doing this for 6 weeks straight and we’ve been doing a pretty good job so far! Check NCC News Online for some of the stories we covered in BDJ 665.

Alexis Scott
Alexis Scott is a graduate student at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and studying Broadcast Digital Journalism. She hopes that when done at Syracuse University, she will be a reporter and multimedia journalist for a media/TV company. You can follow her on Twitter @ livewlex to have updates and follow her journey through graduate school.

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