UM News offers students a taste of "real world" journalism

Each Wednesday morning, students in the School of Journalism’s advanced television courses gather in the newsroom on the first floor of Don Anderson Hall. 

The producers arrive first, around 8:30 a.m., to check their graphics and put the final touches on the scripts for UM News. They oversee the production of two versions of the news program that air on Thursdays during the morning newscasts on KPAX and KTMF in Missoula and Kalispell.

By 9 a.m., the directors arrive. Directors make sure the television studio is ready to go, check all the video elements and consult with the producers on any last-minute changes. Directors are in charge of the technical side of the programs, and they get to work marking up the show scripts so they can give directions to other crew members during the recording.

A little before 10 a.m., other students arrive to operate the cameras, to adjust levels on the microphones, to playback the video segments and to host the programs. Students take their places on the set, behind the cameras, at the audio board and video switcher. Recording the UM News segments is the culmination of a week of researching, reporting, interviewing, recording and editing video and audio, writing scripts, and building rundowns and graphics.

At 10:10 a.m. the team is in place and ready to put the newscast on the air. Each team has just 25 minutes to rehearse and record. The 20 students then transfer the finished recordings to the local television stations and post all their reporting work for the week online at, before starting work on next week’s newscasts.

Employers and internship hosts say the work students do in these courses prepares them for the real world of television news and production. Stories produced for UM News win local, regional and national awards every year.

- posted on 11/12/13 -