A Glimpse into a Texas Christian University Newscast

Gracie Amiss
Major: Journalism
Hometown: Austin, Texas

Gracie Amiss claims she was never a “news fanatic” like most people who major in broadcast journalism, but she always knew she had a knack for writing. Amiss found that journalism was a major that would challenge both her writing abilities and creativity.

I asked Amiss if she could explain how a Texas Christian University newscast is prepared, filmed and produced.

At TCU, we run our newscasts once a week. There is a common misconception that journalists always get stories assigned for them to cover. In student-run and professional newsrooms alike, most of the time the journalist has to come up with new and newsworthy ideas on their own. Each student journalist is responsible for finishing a video story or “package” every week. Our stories not only focus on things that impact TCU’s community, but also include national or global events, so we always have to be well-versed on what is happening around the world.

Once they’re done shooting their video, students have to write a script for the package, produce and edit it, and finally write an article for web. This is all done in preparation for the newscast that week.

On the day that the newscast goes on air, all of the class meets in our newsroom to film. It functions like a real station – we have students running the prompter, students managing the cameras, students anchoring the newscast and so on and so forth. Before we shoot, our show needs to be stacked. Our producer spends the day positioning every student’s story so that our newscast flows well. The reporters who aren’t anchoring that week will often intro and outro their stories in-studio, which means they introduce their stories instead of the anchors reading their scripts for them. All-in-all, the day we go on-air is spent tying up any loose ends, going over our stories/scripts with our professor, and getting ready for a great show.

After the show we have a student on staff who is responsible for cutting the show and inserting graphics; however, students make their own graphics and write their own scripts. The producer is the one who stacks the show and ensures it flows smoothly.

Our newscasts are published on our website, TCU360, and all of its social platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook).

Click here for more information on the Journalism department.