NOTE: All students interested in participating in Annenberg TV News must come to the ATVN Open House the second week of the semester to sign up for shifts and mandatory workshops. Please see the calendar for the exact Open House date and times.
IN THE NEWSROOM
Executive Producer: The Executive Producer (EP) of Annenberg TV News is responsible for the overall look and production of each aspect of ATVN. The EP directly oversees the producer of the day by helping develop story ideas, organizing the order and flow of the show, supervising changes needed when there’s breaking news, and keeping track of all personnel. The EP is also in the studio along with the producer as the show is broadcast. Executive Producers also have a wide range of non-day-of-air duties, such as coordinating awards, alumni, newsroom and studio scheduling, and planning events and promotions.
Producer: The day-of-air producer for ATVN is part of a two or three-student team from the Journalism 403 class. A different team produces each day and within each team, the students rotate between being a producer or teammate (see below). The producer is in charge of pulling together content for the show, developing it with the help of the EP and advisors, assigning stories to reporters and writers and filling in the rundown with necessary information. The producer must have eyes and ears everywhere, continually checking the wires, adding or changing the rundown, copy editing stories and communicating with writers, reporters, editors and the director.
Associate Producer (Teammate): The Associate Producer for ATVN is a student enrolled in Journalism 403 and is part of a rotating cycle of students. The Associate Producer keeps track of all requests for graphic elements in the show, keeps a running update of the progress of each member of the ATVN team, and accounts for each video after it has undergone the editing process. The AP also helps with assignment editing and editing scripts.
Anchor: There are four anchors: two news anchors, one weather anchor, and one sports anchor. All anchors do much more than merely read off of the teleprompter. They work a mandatory seven-hour shift (12pm-7pm) in which they put together stories and other elements for their segments. Sports anchors must produce the entire sportscast and guide sports volunteers.The anchors are chosen through auditions. Interested students must sign up for auditions and workshops at the ATVN Open House.
Reporter: Annenberg TV News reporters are students enrolled in Journalism 402 as well as students who have shown strong ATVN writing, shooting and editing skills. Reporters work from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. At the start of the shift, each reporter is assigned a story by the producer. The reporter must show consistency in completing the story from idea to edited package in a timely manner. Reporter duties include making phone calls, preparing and shooting interviews, writing scripts, and editing tracks, video and soundbites into finished packages. Interested students should apply for reporter positions at the Open House. The ATVN management team will notify candidates a few days after the Open House whether they will work as reporters (or as ATVN writer/shooter/editors to gain experience).
Writer/Shooter/Editor: WSE’s are responsible for writing stories in the rundown using Associated Press wires and iNews software, shooting interviews or b-roll for local/campus stories, and editing these stories using AVID NewsCutter software. This position also involves incorporating information and video through Pathfire feeds. Most students who work as writer/shooter/editors are enrolled in either J303, J306 or J501, but ATVN welcomes volunteers with previous ATVN experience in other roles.
Assignment Desk Editor: The Assignment Desk editor at ATVN is a point person for the EP, Producer, and Associate Producers. By making phone calls, scheduling interviews for reporters, developing story ideas, and keeping track of contacts, the Assignment Desk Editor is a key resource. Assignment Editors also keep track of campus activities and handle all news tips and incoming information. This is a volunteer position and requires no past experience.
Graphic Artist: Annenberg TV News produces a newscast filled with a variety of original graphics. Full screen maps, fact sheets, and over the shoulder graphics are only a few of the projects that graphics artists create. Adobe AfterEffects animations are also incorporated into the day’s work. Students enrolled in Journalism 300, interested volunteers, and students from the school of fine arts all work together to bring graphical elements to each newscast.
IN THE STUDIO
Director: The director supervises the entire broadcast from the control room. This involves communicating with other members of the crew, telling them when to switch cameras, when to roll videos, and when to cue anchors to speak. This volunteer position requires training and previous experience as a technical director.
Technical Director: The technical director (TD) has to master the switcher board. The buttons on this board determine what actually goes on the air. The TD must know how to bring different camera shots up on the screen, how to use video effects (such as wipes), and put graphics on the screen. They must be in constant communication with the director. The technical director is a volunteer position and requires previous experience as a TD Shadow.
TD Shadow: Occasionally, ATVN will schedule a person to work with the Technical Director during the show. The TD Shadow assists the technical director with bringing in lower third graphics and learning the video switcher. The number of TD Shadow positions is determined each semester based on need. It is a volunteer position.
Assistant Director: Assistant directors (AD) play an essential role helping the director and technical director. They provide countdowns for the director and anchors, and direct the TD to bring graphics on screen. Before the show, the AD works closely with the director, looking over the show rundown for problems that may arise. Students enrolled in J204 and 303 are given priority for this position, but students may volunteer for this position. AD requires no prior experience, and is an excellent start for those wanting to become directors or TDs.
Floor Manager: The floor manager provides a line of communication between the director and the anchors. The floor manager guides the anchors on the set by directing them to the correct cameras, giving countdowns, and signaling them to “wrap up” or “stretch.” Floor managers also communicate to the director any questions or information the anchors might have. Students enrolled in J204 and 303 are given priority for this position, but students may volunteer for this position. Floor manager requires no past experience.
Camera Operator: There are three camera operators on the set who must position the cameras in a variety of different camera shots. They also learn how to move the camera to different areas of the set during the broadcast. Students enrolled in J203 and 303 are given priority for this position, but students may volunteer for this position. Camera operator requires no past experience.
Audio: There are two audio people in the control room who operate the audio mixer board. They learn to quickly adjust audio levels for anchors and videos, as well as manage the audio equipment before and after the show. Students enrolled in J203 and 303 are given priority for this position, but students may volunteer for this position. Audio requires no past experience.
Teleprompter: The teleprompter operator controls the text that appears on the camera monitor that the anchors read. This involves speeding up or slowing down the script when necessary, and compensating for ad-libbing. Teleprompter requires no past experience.
Playback Operator: The Playback Operator is in charge of the video server and rolls each video element during the newscast. They have to check each video before the show, roll the videos on the director’s cues, and quickly cue up the next video. This position requires substantial communication with the director and producers to ensure all of the show’s videos are in and ready for air. Students enrolled in J203 and 303 are given priority for this position, but students may volunteer for this position. Playback Operator requires no past experience.
Graphics: The graphics operator (also called “chyron"), is in charge of loading the correct “lower-thirds” and “fullscreens” on the graphics computer. Students enrolled in J203 and 303 are given priority for this position, but students may volunteer for this position. Graphics requires no past experience.