Journalism and TV Production classes tour WTAE studio


Nicole Pampena, Editor-in-Chief

On Wednesday, January 20th, student from the Journalism and TV Production classes toured the WTAE Studio.
Led by Anchor Michelle Wright and Operations Manager Dan Henninger, the students had the privilege of a first-hand and inside look at the daily function and process of putting together a newscast. As a result of being accustomed to the news continually and seamlessly aired on one channel or another, many were surprised to find how many people it really takes for that simple picture to appear.

The tour began in what could be described as headquarters for finding, researching, and writing the events that would be featured in a newscast. Dozens of small televisions lined the walls, and almost as many computers sat in clusters throughout the room manned by everyone from producers to video editors to social media management. In addition to the atmosphere of the room, students were lucky enough to see the excitement of the field reporters, who were in the process of preparing to broadcast at the scene of a house fire.
The next portion introduced Studio A, which actually is not even used as a studio. The large, fairly plain room primarily functions as a green screen room, a commercial/promo backdrop, and multipurpose area.

Before going into the filming studio itself, the group headed upstairs to the main control room above the main studio, where they were introduced to a job that functions twenty-four hours every day of the year ensuring the smooth broadcast of every program, commercial, advertisement, or anything else that needs to be aired.

The tour concluded watching a live broadcast of a thirty-minute segment with Anchor Janelle Hall and Meteorologist Steve MacLaughlin. The students got the rare opportunity to see what happens when the cameras aren’t rolling and how every shot and frame is planned and carried out.

Most, if not all of those participating walked out in awe of the process to put on a single newscast and the excitement of the job. Henninger, Wright, and Hall all mentioned that it never loses that excitement, and every day is different from the last.

The classes were happy to learn of the unknown yet equally important jobs in the field of media and communications, a career path commonly labeled as difficult to break into. Many of the students took a new interest in broadcast, and look forward to similar experiences in the future.