On June 18, the Journalism major took a field trip to WFAA in Downtown Dallas. After the morning meeting, the Journalism students loaded a bus that took them to WFAA. After waiting for a few minutes, the tour guide arrived. First they visited a room where a meeting was being held to discuss what was going to be on the midday news. The people in the meeting had their ideas written on a large whiteboard on wheels. After the meeting ended, someone wheeled away the whiteboard. The guide explained that the ideas on the whiteboard would be considered for the news, and it would be taken to another meeting where more ideas would be written on it. Ms. Mungo, the first female executive director of WFAA, also spoke to the Journalism students about how journalism is evolving to suit a growing number of people who use social media and mobile devices to get their news.
Next, the students visited the graphics department. The two men who worked there showed the students some of their work and explained a bit of the process that they use to create graphics for WFAA’s commercials. They also told the students about the educational path that one would take to pursue a career in graphic design. One would need to take art history, drawing, color theory, math and typography classes while in college. Then, the students went to the control room. They were shown how the different cameras were operated from that room and how the different clips are pieced together to create a news program.
Lastly, the students went to the room where the news is shot. They learned about how the anchors must keep their reports within the time limit. The more experienced anchors do not use stopwatches or timers, but people new to the job often use them to keep themselves from going over the time limit. The guide described the role of the cameramen and the teleprompter. A paper copy of the script is kept on set in case of a teleprompter malfunction. If one camera fails, the anchor receives a signal to look at one of the other cameras to keep the program running smoothly. Before leaving, the students took turns taking pictures in the anchors’ seats. The students learned about journalism and thoroughly enjoyed themselves during this field trip.
Written by: Imani G., Reporter