A Day In The Life: An In-Depth Look With Alumnus Evan Watson

By Sophia Coussoule, Strategic Communication ’18

Name: Evan Watson
Hometown: Overland Park, Kansas
Current City: Macon, Georgia
Graduation Year: May 2016
Majors: Journalism, Spanish and Hispanic Studies
Current Job: WGXA News—Multimedia Journalist, Sports Reporter, and Weather Forecaster


Typical Workday:

9:30 a.m.        Wake up and eat breakfast while reading morning emails.

10 a.m.            Check work email about today’s news. If I don’t already have a story set up (I normally do), start formulating my story for the day.

Calling around to get new sources, setting up video opportunities, localizing national news to Macon, etc.

11 a.m.            Head to my apartment complex gym. I bring my work phone in case anything happens.

12 p.m.            Back to my apartment for a shower. Get ready for work, eat lunch and watch TV/Netflix.

1 p.m.              Head into work (about a 15 minute drive).

1:15 p.m.        Make sure my story is set for the day.

2 p.m.              Get my gear ready to go report.

Camera, tripod, batteries, light kit, car keys, IFB cord, mic, receiver batteries, phone charger, aux cord, and a notepad.

2:30 p.m.        Depending on the story, I may be driving to my story by this point. 2:30 is the “official” start of my workday.

2:45 p.m.        If I’m able, sit in on the afternoon assignment meeting where the newsroom talks news of the day, story angles, comprehensive coverage, future coverage, etc.

3:15 p.m.        I’ll definitely be on the road to my story by now.

3:30 p.m.        Get to the site and start getting “sound” (interviews).

4:15 p.m.        Try to interview someone in charge and ask more of the nuts and bolts questions.

During these interviews, I’m getting video to go with the story. Depending on the story, I shoot a standup of myself telling some aspect of the story.

5 p.m.              Pre-Commission begins.

This comes before the meeting where commissioners preview the upcoming night’s agenda and discuss some items. Often I can find some story ideas here based on what they talk about.

5:30 p.m.        During this whole day, I need to post five times on my professional Twitter and Facebook accounts.

6 p.m.              Full commission starts, so I listen to what passes and doesn’t.

7:30 p.m.        Commission is over. I interview however many commissioners I need to talk to.

Normally 1-2, as I just need sound on why they made the decision. If the commission is split or divided, I’ll ask two commissioners with opposing views to talk to me to show the different sides.

7:45 p.m.        Head back to the station.

8:00 p.m.        Start writing the script for my story.

I write what the anchors say to introduce the story, what I say after they toss to me, the “track” for my package (what I’m saying during the video + the sound bites from my interviews), and the “tag” of how I close out the story after the package video.

8:20 p.m.        Edit all my video!

Listen to all of my interviews and choose the sound bites I want for the package.

9:00 p.m.        Get my package script approved by an editor and go into the sound booth to track my voice-over for the package.

9:15 p.m.        Throw everything together.

Edit my track for the package and the interview sound bites via Adobe Premiere editing software, place the video I got from earlier throughout, adjust sound levels, color correct if need be, etc.

9:30 p.m.        Export a video tease.

9:50 p.m.        Get ready to be on TV.

Put on tie and jacket, IFB (how I can hear my producer in the control room) and mic. Do any mirror prep work—I don’t put on makeup but just about everyone else at the station does.

10:00 p.m.      Be in the studio to be on TV! Read the script I wrote earlier and present my story.

10:10 p.m.      Back at it! We have another show at 11, but this time for ABC16, not FOX24.

11:00 p.m.      Do it all again on TV!

11:15 p.m.      My producer asks me if I have “new sound for morning”.

This means something fresh from an interview that I haven’t used in my package. I normally set this aside while I’m editing. I essentially re-write the whole script for the morning anchors so it seems fresh.

11:30 p.m.      My shift is over.

I make sure I’ve done my five tweets and two Facebook posts for the day. I check in all my equipment and head home. I’ll normally call a friend on the ride home just to talk, or think about tomorrow’s story if I haven’t already.

12:00 a.m.      Usually eat a snack and watch something on TV or play a video game to unwind.

12:30 a.m.      Get to sleep!