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How 25 News reporters craft a story

As a part of News Literacy Week, 25 News is bringing you stories all week about what goes into developing the stories you see on air.

People often wonder what a news reporter’s typical day looks like. On a daily basis, a lot of work goes into making sure a story is accurate, timely and thoughtful.

As an nightside reporter, I typically produce content for the 10 pm show, meaning my day officially starts around 2 pm

STEP ONE: PLANNING

Most days, I dedicate some time in the morning searching for a story.

I look for stories viewers would care about. On a given day, that could be anything from education to politics to crime or even a feature story.

I’ll dig through social media, read over national news and see what other reporters are covering before settling on a couple of ideas for the day.

STEP TWO: PITCHING

Next, I bring my ideas to my managers and producers during our daily editorial meeting.

We’ll discuss the ideas they’ll either receive the green light—or it’s back to the drawing board.

STEP THREE: FILMING

Then, I’ll make some calls to schedule interviews with people relevant to the story and hit the road.

On any given day, I could stay in Waco or travel across our viewing area.

I’ll conduct the interviews and gather some video, or b-roll, to make the story come to life. Along the way, I’ll make mental notes of what I want to include in my story or what additional research I’ll need to do.

STEP FOUR: WRITING

When I get back to the station, I’ll re-listen to my interviews and come up with an outline.

Trying to figure out the best way to fit a story into a 90-second package can be a tricky process. The whole process usually takes about an hour.

Then I’ll send the script over to my producers and anchors for them to give it a second look.

STEP FIVE: EDITING

Then, I’ll head to the voiceover booth to track my story.

And then step by step, I tie together my script with my interviews.

Watching it over and over again until the deadline to make sure it’s the best it can be.

STEP SIX: AIRING

Eight hours later…What was once just an idea is out in the world.

I’ll write up a web article, send it to our digital team, and finally, it’s time to head out for the night.

It’s important to note that this is a “typical” day as a local reporter, no two days are the same. Being a reporter is all about being flexible and rolling with the punches as they come.

As news changes and breaks, sometimes we don’t know the full story until minutes before the show. Overall, we dedicate our days to bringing accurate and timely news to our viewers every single day. It can be tiring some days, but it’s always worth it.

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