Broadcasting Major Assignment

Video Newsroom will combine elements of Nightly News, Reinventing TV News and Audience & Engagement, giving students intensive, frequent video reporting opportunities while publishing in real time on the web and social media. We will, to the greatest extent possible, cover news and developing stories and publish them within 24 hours. 

Students will be expected to shoot and edit stories at least once per week, concentrating on dynamic changes in NYC, including themes such as Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Emerging Politics, Race, Gender and Identity, Changing Demographics and Grass Roots New York. This will give the typical student at least a dozen stories (some will have more) to show prospective employers, demonstrating several different approaches to field reporting.

A staff of instructors from diverse video-producing organizations such as ABC News, WNBC, Vice News, HBO, CBS News and The Guardian will enable students to experiment with various styles and formats of field reporting, preparing them for careers across a spectrum of video reporting opportunities. We will also experiment with “live” streaming from the field, and will produce several integrated newscasts in the television studio, though field reporting will be our emphasis throughout.

In addition, the course will include a 7-week seminar based on Professor Klatell’s popular Reinventing TV News, exposing students to new business models for video production companies, such as those of NowThis, Buzzfeed, Twitter and Vine, re-designed legacy organizations including CNN Money and Politics, as well as the planned Vice News Tonight evening program, to be launched in collaboration with HBO.

Finally, we will embed a specialized 7-week section of Audience & Engagement, to be built around the video reporting and web publication that is integral to Video Newsroom, rather than materials developed especially for Audience & Engagement. This will enable students not only to publish frequently throughout the semester, but to identify and engage target audiences and online communities over many weeks, thereby gathering more relevant data and better metrics than is often the case.

Whether your goal is to work in local or network television news, for an online publication, an international organization or as a freelance video journalist, your career will likely begin with the ability to find, report, produce and distribute news stories in various video formats. Video Newsroom aspires to create opportunities for ambitious students to achieve that goal.

Prerequisite: 7-week video module

Students who enroll in this class will be charged a $275 lab fee.

In journalism, an assignment editor is an editor – either at a newspaper, or radio or television station – who selects, develops and plans reporting assignments, either news events or feature stories, to be covered by reporters.

An assignment editor often fields calls from the public, who give news tips, or information about a possible story or event to be covered. Sometimes, these calls may:

  • Alert editors about a disaster – perhaps something as minor as a car accident or as major as a large industrial fire with mass casualties.
  • Be someone wishing to make a complaint about corporate or governmental practices, or have information or an opinion about a major decision that a local or state government is making.
  • Be something as minor as a child building the world's largest sand castle or a budding entrepreneur wanting to promote his/her product.

Other times, the news tip may come in the form of a news release, which may either promote an event, meeting, etc.; or alert editors and reporters about an upcoming news conference. Sometimes, assignment editors must sift through hundreds of news releases each day. In many cases, possibly dependent on the market, assignment editors use police scanners, listening to traffic between 911 dispatchers and police officers in the field.

Whatever the case, it is the assignment editor's job to determine what news tips and news releases are the most newsworthy, and then decide which reporter to assign a story to. Those assignments are often determined based on the reporter's experience, skills and his/her beat (e.g., police, courts, schools, city hall, county, etc.).

If a major story develops – such as a disaster or economic development – an assignment editor may enlist several reporters (in addition to whoever usually covers that beat) to cover various angles of a story. For instance, if the story is about a plant closing, one reporter may be asked to do the main story about the closing, while other reporters may be asked to do stories on such things as employee reaction, reaction from business and community leaders, a history of the plant (and other plant closings, if appropriate), etc.

Required background[edit]

An assignment editor often has at least one year of experience working for a particular news organization, and has good knowledge of the community in which he/she works and lives. Sometimes, it may be a journalist's first job as an editor, with other editorial sections – such as copy, section, managing and chief editors – higher in seniority.

At many smaller daily and weekly newspapers, the role of assignment editor is often combined with an editor's other duties (e.g., an assistant editor who also lays out the pages also may be asked to assign stories to reporters).

See also[edit]

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