BUSINESS

A look behind the scenes at Ole Miss NewsWatch Live at Five

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Brian Barisa
Oxford Stories
bdbarisa@go.olemiss.edu

The broadcasters enter the Student Media Center at 2:30 p.m. Dressed to impress, Matthew Hendley logs into the rundown to see what stories he’ll be covering as anchor when the show begins.

“I begin to gather information for my scriptwriting,” he said, as he began to research the top story, the Las Vegas massacre. “Basically, I just read over the stories and the articles that pertain to what I have to write about.”

Matthew is an anchor for the NewsWatch Tuesday evening staff. He says his job is to “read the news and have salon-quality hair.”

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Abbie McIntosh runs the switcher during the show. Photo by Brian Barisa

Abbie McIntosh starts her day hours before the rest of the correspondents. She is the station manager, beginning at 12:30 p.m. daily, where she works with Jules Marcantonio, the executive producer, to set up and plan the show, allowing sufficient space for stories, voice overs and more.

McIntosh makes sure her staff arrives on time and is ready to work while maintaining an efficient workspace. Work starts as she calls the crew to the classroom inside the Student Media Center for a brief meeting. The reporters discuss what they will be covering and give an approximation of the length of their videos and soundbytes.

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Abbie McIntosh leads the group meeting. Photo by Brian Barisa

Production begins around 4:30 p.m. when Abbie will “go over what is needed, load things into the computer, and turn the lights on.” A brief look at the weather will be recorded for later in the show, and the show will be assembled.

The anchors take their positions at the desk, the teleprompter loads to the cameras, and a correspondent will be ready on set.

When 5 p.m. hits, and the show begins, the anchors read the tease and give a quick look at the stories that will be shown during the episode. With the shooting in Las Vegas as the top story, much of the first section of the show was dedicated to learning more about what happened that night.

Both anchors read through the script they had worked on and gave the carefully planned information to the viewing audience. Finishing out the A block was a segment on the University Police Department and a story about Oxford’s award-winning tourism board.

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Delia Vandevelde watches the TV to help deliver the weather. Photo by Brian Barisa

The B block brought more political stories. Another short break led the show into the C block where Delia Vandevelde showed a much more extensive look at the weather for the rest of the week.

She spent time beforehand finding the current weather online at Weather Underground and Intellicast and made the slides for the background as she stood in front of a green screen. She shows maps and satellite images before taking a seat at the anchor desk for a short crosstalk with the anchors.

Vandevelde said it’s “difficult sometimes because there is no teleprompter,” but she still makes it through her forecast each week. She talks with the anchors about the weather and how it affects them and voices opinions about the temperatures. Another commercial break comes, and the sports segment begins.

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Kinsey McLaughlin reads the play-by-play in SportsWatch. Photo by Brian Barisa

Near the end of the show, Kinsey McLaughlin delivers the sports news along with a play-by-play of the previous night’s football game and stories about the Ole Miss Golf and Cross Country teams.

The camera returned to the anchor desk where they had another talk about the weather and gave a quick tease to the show’s kicker, a story about a skunk stuck in a McFlurry cup.

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Abbie McIntosh goes over what went well and what needs improvement. Photo by Brian Barisa

At the end of the day, the show is given a brief critique by the staff, led by McIntosh. They go over what went well and what needs improvement. The upper staff goes into great detail with each story to show the ins and outs and highlights the best features of each element of the story.

Afterwards, the workers go out seek the next story for the next week. McIntosh and Marcantonio finish by uploading the show to the website and shutting down the studio. Each light shuts down, the tablets are plugged in, and the show is saved for future uses.

By 6 p.m., the day is done, the correspondents have gone, and the production staff has finished resetting the studio for the next day of work – live at five.

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