mdunnbass (mdunnbass) wrote in little_details,

Typical Local TV News Field Report Experience?

Hi everybody,

Setting: Near future USA, likely greater Philadelphia area, maybe 2015.
Question (short version): What goes on when a TV news van goes out to do a field report?

My character is a member of a local news crew, although I haven't decided what her job is yet. I am running on the assumption that I'll have her working at KYW-TV news in Philadelphia (are their offices still next to Independence Hall by the Liberty Bell?, and as an aside, which Philly news station used to have those "There's that news van again!" commercials, was it WCAU, or KYW?).

What I need is for her to be involved in the editing of news footage into the nightly stories. I know that the field reporters do this, as well as the producers, and I'm guessing film editors also. I was originally planning to make her a producer, but after much googling and reading, that's sounding like far too involved of a job for what I have planned for her personal life.

My question, though, is more the logistics and mechanics of a news crew out in a van. How many people are there? Is it just the reporter and the cameraman, or is there a producer in the field with them usually? Who drives? What's the hierarchy, who's in charge? And (for not live on-air pieces) do they do most of the editing in the field, or do they send it back to the studio and editors can start working on it, and the field group joins in when they get back to the studio? All I have to go on is what I've seen in movies (think Scream), but I don't want to make it cliché, and I doubt the factual accuracy of sources like that.

I've googled things to the effect of "Day in the life" tv reporter, or field reporter, or news producer, and various combinations thereof. I've found a few good producer DitL pages, a lot of pages on how to get a job as a reporter, etc. And I even read 20 pages through of the book "30 seconds to Air", which is more about setting up the right camera angle for recording the story, and getting over on-air jitters.

Tags: ~journalism

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