Imagine a darkened studio with the spotlight on the news anchor as he/she tells the world about the terrorist rampage at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai. It is a solemn moment for the anchor, the people in the studio and the viewers at home, all of them connected by the horror, concern and heartbreak that the story brings.
How did that story come to your screen at home? All you saw on your screen was the anchor telling you what was happening and probably some live footage from the scene of crime. Who works in a television newsroom? What is the newsroom hierarchy?
Television newsrooms are filled with a number of people working tirelessly around the clock to bring the news to the world.
What is a Television Newsroom?
A television newsroom or TV news studio is the place where news stories are collected, written, edited and then broadcasted. It functions as a combination of a television studio and a news office.
Apart from the studio itself, often a TV news studio will also have one or more Outside Broadcast Vans (OB Vans) that function as mini portable studios and are used to transmit news from venues away from the TV station’s studio.
How Does a TV News Studio Function?
There is a lot of work that goes into a news broadcast. It may be pre-recorded and edited before being broadcasted or in the case of a breaking news story, it may be transmitted live as it happens.
Generally, a news story goes through the following steps before it reaches the public:
- The newsroom identifies a story to be broadcasted
- Journalists are assigned to cover the story by attending the event in question or conducting research
- Researchers also look up relevant archival footage that can be used for broadcast
- The stories are scripted and camerapersons and reporters may be sent into the field to gather more footage if necessary
- The various items like footage and recorded narration are put together, graphics are created and stories are captioned
- Editors then review the story and edit it for length and clarity
- The story is then broadcast in its allocated timeslot during the news bulletin
All this occurs in an extremely short span of time and newsrooms can get quite frantic in attempts to broadcast a story before their competitors.
With the fierce competition for airtime, a story might even be dismissed for broadcast after all this work if a more newsworthy story comes along!
What is the Organizational Structure of a TV News Channel?
What are the different departments in a TV news studio? Good question! Although the world may see only the news anchor, field reporters and the weatherman, there are different people who fulfil various roles to bring the news to television screens across the world.
- To start with, they have different ‘desks’. Each desk is in charge of one particular news topic. Main Desk, Weather Desk, Sports Desk and Business Desk are some examples of desks you might find in a studio.
- The broadcast studio is a vital part of the newsroom because this is where programs are recorded for broadcast. Each studio has at least three different cameras set at different angles so the director can switch between them as needed.
- The control room is the hub of every broadcast. It is normally situated overlooking the studio separated by glass windows. It is here that the different camera angles are mixed and other footage (for example, archival footage) is inserted into the broadcast.
- There are various other departments like the post production unit, makeup and wardrobe departments, social media department, graphic arts department and research desks that are needed for a news studio to function.
Larger TV news studios have multiple departments while smaller ones might have overlapping ones. As you can see, it goes way beyond a news anchor and a camera to disseminate even a small piece of news.
Who Works in a News Studio?
Naturally, an operation this large requires a lot of personnel performing specialised tasks for the smooth functioning of a TV news studio.
Some of the careers you can expect to have in a typical television newsroom structure are:
- Floor Manager
- News Anchor
- News Director
- Weather Forecaster
- Social Media Manager
- Script Writer
- Lighting Specialist
- Executive Producer
- Broadcast Technician
- Audio Engineer
The list is endless. For a more comprehensive look into what some of these TV studio job profiles entail, read our blog article, 14 Careers You Can Explore After a Degree in Broadcast Journalism.
If the fast-paced and highly dynamic world of working in a TV news studio appeals to you, then a Degree in Broadcast Journalism will set you on the right track.
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