Since this is the field I want to go into I was thrilled at the opportunity to go on a ride along with Channel 2 News reporter Melissa Penry, and I got to see the details behind the scenes.
The day started with a 9 a.m. meeting that consisted of reporters giving and receiving story ideas. Penry was working on a re-zoning story in Williamson County, and had already set up interviews with parents. We had to leave downtown and be in Franklin, Tenn. at 10:30 a.m.
Channel 2 has an on call list, in case of a breaking news story. “I could be called at anytime. We have an on-call list, but in reality if something big happens I could be called,” said Penry.
“I’ve been at Channel 2 for twenty five years,” Penry said. Within twenty five years she has learned to be well prepared for just about anything. She has a video camera in the vehicle since she shoots her own segments.
“I have rubber boots, a raincoat, and an umbrella. When we shoot on the interstate we have to wear a fluorescent vest. You need to be prepared for whatever can happen, because it can change in a moment,” Penry said.
In the span of a day, Penry had to set up interviews for her story, write her own scripts, shoot the segments, and get back to the news station by about 2:00 p.m. so that the first segment could be edited and ready to go for the 4:30 p.m. news segment. Keep in mind all of the footage gathered throughout the day can’t be more than ninety seconds for each segment.
After that she had to edit more on her story for the main event around 6 p.m., plus write it for the web. It is a full day’s work that news reporters put into just one story.
Penry was very friendly, and made my day extremely enjoyable and educational. It was refreshing to see the true personality of some of the reporters and anchors behind the scenes. I got some footage of the day and was able to catch a few of the Channel 2 News personalities on camera.
Volunteer State Community College