This semester our Camp Fire club is working on the “Trail to the Community”, and we are earning the emblem for this trail by learning about people and places that help the community function. Our leader set up a tour of one of the local television stations (actually two stations that share the same building). We had a great tour and also got to meet several news personalities, since we were there shortly before the evening newscast.
The first thing we got to see was the larger news set and anchor’s desk. There were lots of cameras and the lights were on because the newscast was going to start in about 20 minutes.
We learned what a “teleprompter” was and how the news reporter used a pedal on the floor to make it scroll. We also learned that the anchors kept a written script, just in case there were technical problems with the teleprompter.
From the news studio we went into the weather center. There is a large greenscreen for the actual forecast and a desk that the weather anchor stands behind for the weather updates throughout the day. The kids had a chance to stand in front of the greenscreen and see themselves on the monitor. We discovered it was pretty hard to make it look like we were pointing at something specific because you had to move opposite from what you were seeing on the monitor.
Next we went to the advertising department. We learned that commercials, as much as we hate when they interrupt our shows, are how the station makes money. We got to see a commercial for a local restaurant (the place we ate at last night, in fact!)
Downstairs we found the control room, where the director and producer sit during the newscasts.
Then we went upstairs to the news room, where journalists actually collect and write the news pieces that the anchors present on air.
Behind the news room is the other station’s anchor desk and set. We saw another teleprompter,
and then the anchor himself came onto the set. He was kind enough to pose for a picture with our entire club. Hello, Stan Boney!
What a great tour. We were really lucky to be able to get so up close and behind the scenes at our local television station.