Day 2: “I Can See Clearly Now…the Rain is Gone”

Before I start, let me apologize for the cliche song reference in the headline. I can’t help but be thankful that the monsoon is over, but also shrug at the scorching week ahead. Today’s hot, dry weather is closer to the normal weather patterns for north Texas.

Upon arrival at work, I finally worked out the kinks with my employee log-in to the Belo corporate intranet. I figured out how to file my electronic time sheet and smoothed-out the details of their direct deposit system.

I was immediately struck by the size of the WFAA newsroom. Located at the entrance of the room is the assignments desk, the “nerve center” of any news operation.

These editors are responsible for the flow of information in and out of the newsroom. They pair reporters and photographers with planned stories and spot news. In front of the assignments desk, sit producers who are stationed below a bank of televisions tuned to the four competing news stations in town.

Behind them is sea of reporter cubicles — including a row of web producers and specialty reporters, such as the movie critic and the “Why Guy.” There is also an area for general assignments reporters, as well as the investigative team. The main anchors for 5, 6, and 1o o’clock newscasts all have offices along the perimeter of the newsroom which face the streets surrounding the building.

I had a morning meeting with my mentor, David Schechter. He went over a list of ideas for summer opportunities, as well as filled me in on some projects we’d be working on. There are several really great stories he’s working on, including some investigative pieces.

I spent most of the day working on this as well as training myself to use I-News, which is their automated newsroom production software. The program connects every computer in the newsroom, allowing users to share content, access Associated Press wires, and view raw and edited video.

Later in the afternoon, we headed over to the Dallas Morning News to interview one of their staff members, who served as an expert for a story David is working on for next week.

David and I got to spend some time discussing past experiences and learning each others reporting styles.  I’m really looking forward to working with him this summer.

Today was fairly interesting for me, but unfortunately for those of you reading this, it may not seem out of the ordinary. I suspect that in the coming days, once I settle in completely, I’ll be able to devote more time to submitting interesting commentary on the blog.

The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of the corporation and employees of WFAA-TV, Belo Corp., or Northwestern State University. They are solely the opinion of the author. All content © Copyright 2007 Lane Luckie

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