Journalism Students Visit NBCDFW Newsroom

A group of journalism students pose on the anchor desk with Schieffer College alumnus Kris Gutierrez.

By Desaray Hickombottom, Communication Studies major, Class of 2020

Some Schieffer College students had an opportunity to visit NBCDFW’s studios this semester, a news station in a top five market.

Students from the Introduction to Journalism and Advanced News Production classes were accompanied by their professors, Melissa Harrison and Patty Zamarripa, to tour the studios and get an idea of what an actual newsroom looks like.

Patty Zamarripa, associate professor of professional practice, said NBCDFW does not give tours any longer but were willing to let TCU students stop by due to her and Harrison’s connections as former employees of the new station.

“The students got to see how NBC operates, how decisions are made on what to cover, how it’s gonna look and what does the everyday life of a TV journalist looks like,” she said.

The tour was broken up into two sessions. Journalism students joined the morning editorial meeting at NBCDFW.The morning session toured NBC 5’s facility, sat in an editorial meeting, and even had the opportunity to speak with some of the anchors, Schieffer College alumni Deborah Ferguson, Noelle Walker and Kris Gutierrez.

“Some students even got to pitch stories that they thought would be good for the anchors to report on,” said Zamarripa.

Makayla Soria, a senior communication studies major from Fresno, California, said that this trip motivated her to pursue her passion in journalism to her fullest potential. “It was an amazing experience being exposed to potential careers after graduation.”

The second session session mainly consisted of seniors. “For them to see the technology we talk about and mimic in class is a big deal,” said Zamarripa. “They’re looking for that first job, building those connections and getting advice.”

Carolina Olivares, a senior journalism major from Houston, Texas, was able to have her resume tape critiqued by Kris Gutierrez when he came to campus to visit Zamarripa and Harrison’s classes following the trip.

“He was so eager to look at it,” she said. “He gave me feedback and opened my eyes to a lot of things I hadn’t noticed before.”

Olivares took his feedback and is working on making corrections before she sends out her resume tape out after she graduates in December.

“He reassured me I’m in a good spot and made me feel better about finding a job,” she said.

Zamarripa said it was important for the students to see that what they’re learning actually happens in the real world. “It’s one thing to tell them. It’s another for them to see it.”

Kris Gutierrez gives journalism students a tour of the NBCDFW news set.