In Front of the Camera in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Name: Kristen Weaver
Majors: Journalism and Spanish
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Current Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Year Graduated: 2017
Kristen Weaver ’17 earned her degree in journalism and Spanish from Texas Christian University. Since the start of her first year at TCU, she loved being a part of student media. “I began working for TCU360, a student-run media outlet, as a line editor, and then took over managing The 109, the student-run local news website,” Weaver said. “I was also very involved with TCU News Now, the student-produced newscast.” For her senior project, she started TCU’s first talk show, “The Leap,” which has since been very successful. When asked about her experience at TCU, Weaver said that what stood out to her the most was being able to lean on the insight from the professors who challenged her daily.
Getting involved in the Spanish major helped Weaver communicate with more people than most, being able to translate interviews or get information from Spanish-speakers.
Weaver loved Professor Jean Brown’s reporting class because despite wanting to focus on the broadcast realm, Brown taught Weaver everything she needed to know about telling an accurate, compelling, grammatically correct and ethical story. TCU’s Multimedia Reporting class gave Weaver insight into the life of a multimedia journalist, which is what she is now, and allowed her to shoot and edit just like she does every day. “I have a former professor’s mantra in the back of my mind for every story I tell: don’t assume, get it right, no clichés,” she said.
Her first job after graduating was the role of a multimedia journalist at KXII-TV in Sherman, Texas. When asked to describe this experience in one word, Weaver said, “WOW. . . it was a lot.” Each day, she was responsible for pitching story ideas, getting one assigned, making calls, shooting video and interviews, logging and editing the content, fronting that story or going live, then writing a web script and posting to social media. “I was challenged so much my first year,” she said.
Weaver knew she picked a demanding career and many days were challenging because she got so much negative feedback from the anchors who would check her stories. She got through it, though. The biggest challenges for her were learning to take feedback and realizing she still had a lot to learn. “I am glad I pushed through that first year and on to the second, because I learned so much and grew immensely,” she said. “Without starting in a small market, I’m not sure I would have continued reporting. I was able to make some pretty bad mistakes and learn from them without a large audience watching.”
Weaver just started at KOTV – News On 6 in Tulsa, Oklahoma as a reporter/multimedia journalist, and so far she is really happy with this decision. “I love my job because I get to be out of the office most of the time, interview incredible people, see history be made right in front of me and explore the local area,” she said.
“A day in this life is always different! Which is why I love it!” – Kristen Weaver, ’17
“I’m a nightside reporter, so I report to work at the CBS affiliate in Tulsa at 2 p.m. Before I get to work, I have to put my story ideas online and then I’ll pitch them at our afternoon meeting,” she said. “I find stories from neighborhood groups on Facebook, through good contacts and people I trust, localizing big national stories and looking at community newspapers among other places.”
Once Weaver is assigned a story, she will set up interviews and go out to shoot them. “I’m paired with a photographer 50% of the time. When they are shooting my stories, they also edit them. When I’m alone, I will shoot, write and edit myself. Sometimes, I edit out in the field, other times I’ll edit back at our station,” she said. “Every night I go live with a photographer fronting a package in our 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows and have to leave a shorter version of my story for the morning anchors but also write a web script.”
As for down the road, Weaver sees TV news shifting a lot and she’s not sure where broadcast will be in the future. She does believe that people will always need and desire local news, so she plans to continue this exciting reporting career for a long time.
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