Newsroom Basics

  • To start your lab shift, be present and prepared, on time with one developed story idea to discuss with the assignment manager.
  • Your team will be assigned a vo/b/vo story.  If you come across spot news in the field, take 5 minutes to get some b-roll and call the desk; likewise if you see an opportunity for a second vo/b/vo or a breakout story, talk to the producer and news director.
  • Always call in to the assignment desk before returning to the station from the field, especially when you’ve traveled out of town.  WUFT serves a 17-county area so out-of-town news coverage is routine and essential…and you will be expected to assume these costs as part of your normal lab shift duties (we generally work in teams of two and alternate driving when possible) unless you can demonstrate an extreme hardship.
  • Deadlines, Deadlines, Deadlines!    The script deadline is 4:30 pm for all scripts to be finished, approved & printed.  The video deadline is also 4:45 pm.  By this time all video should be submitted to the appropriate folder for on-air playback.
  • Never leave your lab shift without prior approval from the news director or associate news director.  When you finish your assignment, check with the producer and assignment manager to see if you can help in another way.
  • After every newscast, show notes are posted in the newsroom.  You should also keep track of the other postings, which include enterprise story ideas, job tips, and recent articles of interest to news professionals.
  • All work is done for potential broadcast on WUFT, but you should make no promises to the public about if or when certain stories will air.
  • We never give copies of our taped material (raw, edited, or airchecks) to anyone, but can take requests from the public to post a particular story on our web site for a short time.  Never tell anyone you might be able to get them a copy of a story.  We do not sell copies nor do we give them out for free.
  • ·All the camera packages we have are extremely expensive.  The cheapest costs about $7000, the TV2 sets cost about $15,000 each, we have one set that costs more than $25,000, and the edit bays typically cost about $35,000.  Treat all gear with care.  You are required to read the WUFT equipment rules and sign the WUFT Gear and Service Drive Pledge.
  • ·All our equipment, including the computers, is for newsroom/college business only.  Treat all items with care, and do not abuse the privilege of using them.  Do not download any software onto the station computers.  This will affect your grade!!


  • ·To help secure our gear and help keep our workplace secure, do not let strangers into the newsroom and do not prop the doors open (the locks are on a timed cycle).  Report any unusual activity to managers and report any suspicious activity to managers or police.
  • ·In addition to the newsroom staffers, other station personnel are likely to participate in post-show critique.  All criticism from the pro staff is professional, not personal…learn to accept it and learn from it.  You may also meet other professionals, including dean Diane McFarlin, members of our Telecom advisory council, alumni & pro friends of the program…treat them all with respect.  If you encounter unexpected visitors or people who appear lost, steer them toward a news manager.


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