By Emily Liu
Kicking off the last week of Arizona State University’s Summer Journalism Institute (SJI), digital media students were taken to the Arizona Republic to experience the work place in action.
Emily Hopwood — who handles the marketing business at the company — led the eighteen high school students to the 12 News studio well-known to a large amount of news-watching Arizonans.
At the green screen, the Arizona Republic employee explained the importance of weather maps in creating the daily forecast. She also described the role of teleprompters in aiding the flow of Channel 12 news.
Hopwood showed students the patio area, which she stated was often used for teaser shots.
But the roles of the crew behind the scenes were even more complex than that of the anchors.
“The director calls all the shots [and] what graphics to take,” Hopwood said in the control room.
Directly outside, the master control sat surrounded by screens. The area gives complete access to the control of all that went on air.
“[The master control’s] main job is to make sure the screen doesn’t go black,” Hopwood stated, “They also take care of a lot of the commercials we get from sales.”
Back on set, anchors Scott Light and Tram Mai went on air. The duo reported on an event at Dobson High School featuring Khaled Hosseini, as well as a man going on a spiritual journey in Sedona.
While most of the script was read off the teleprompter, breaking news was required to be improvised.
“Our producer [gives] us all the information in our ear, and we just have to make since of it all,” Mai said, “We just have to ad-lib it all.”
Because the Republic media had expanded its brand to become azcentral.com over the years, Hopwood took the journalism students up to the newsroom as well.
Busy at work, reporters were split between the running television screens of Channel 12-based employees and the constant keyboard punching of the Arizona Republic side.
Speaking on the area’s noise, Hopwood said, “Police scanners are always going.”
Students also became eyewitnesses to the pressure workers face as the news director walked out to check on progress.
The educational experience in a real-life newsroom allowed for the eighteen SJI students to walk out with new knowledge, in addition to the understanding of the newsroom they received the previous week at ABC 15 and KTVK.