My Experience at the Cronkite Journalism Event


Amanda Mourelatos, Associate Editor-in-Chief

On Saturday, April 13th, I went to the KOLD 13 news station for an event hosted by Cronkite, ASU’s school of journalism, as well as ALMA (Arizona Latino Media Association) and KOLD 13. Along with student journalists from other high schools, we learned lots about how a newsroom runs, the basics of story writing, and how expensive things in a newsroom are. For example, a complete camera is around $80,000 and for a satellite shot, it’s $20 per minute. Fluorescent lights need to be changed daily and it’s about $17,000 for fluorescent lights. When reporting breaking news, the reporter needs to know what they’re talking, educating themselves in the 2-3 minutes they have to prepare. There are about 49 hours of filming per week for KOLD. When putting a story together, it can either take 5 minutes or all day to get everything ready for the screens. I learned a lot of cool things about a newsroom, but my favorite is that the B.A.M. (Big A** Monitor) is a common and frequently used term.

When interviewing people, you want to get as much information out of them as possible. Asking for their full names, spelling, and title (brother, worker, student, etc.) is crucial for articles. Making your article interesting comes with a catchy lede, or the first couple sentences of your article that makes your story appealing to the consumers. One thing that helps with getting information out of someone is familiarizing yourself with your interviewee and vice versa; introducing yourself, asking questions that get the person to talk about themselves and warm up to you, and making personal connections to the person you’re interviewing makes them feel better about opening up to a nosy stranger. Following up with ‘why’ or ‘what do you men by…’ also helps to get the extent of the interviewee’s information. Another big thing is doing your research; if you’re writing about a gymnast and know nothing about gymnastics, you should familiarize yourself with the activity and gather questions based on your new knowledge.

Preparing to present the weather!

Students from schools all over Tucson were there and I was able to meet new journalists. We got to meet the KOLD 13 news crew and they showed us around, as well as how lots of things work behind the scenes. We all got a chance to be weathermen and anchormen! Being a weatherman was extremely nerve wracking for me because they don’t get any scripts! We simply had to say what we saw; and when there was 30 seconds left, we shared the 7 day forecast. I don’t know anything about meteorology, so I just talked about the differences between the different colors. When we were anchormen, we read a short news story off of the prompter, which was my favorite part about the day. All of the men and women from KOLD 13, ALMA, and Cronkite shared lots of information about writing good stories, asking questions during interviews, and other things I’m glad I had the opportunity to learn. Everything I learned reflects my writing for this paper and hopefully my writing in the future. Lots of things I am now knowledgeable about will help to better my writing and my peers’ as well. I think all journalists would greatly benefit from this program, including all The Paper Cut members.