broadcast journalism school
It is almost graduation day for the Fall 2017 1-year Broadcast Journalism students. Last week, they were in the studio for the final time, recording special material for their resume reels. This week will be consumed by editing, editing, editing, and editing. Graduation is at 10 a.m. on Friday.We use a “green screen effect” to create our “virtual” news set. That means the only things that are “real” are the chairs, desk and (of course) air talent…In the Control Room, and when the show hits “air,” it looks a lot different…Still, there’s nothing quite as nice as an “anchor” close-up…Even a few minutes before going “on set,” students are still rehearsing. In this case, in the hall outside the studio. (And if she wants to delete any part of the script, the waste basket is immediately to her left.)When it all comes together, it is the closest thing to “magic.”
As an international correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, Jane Ferguson is always on the go. This month, she found time in her busy schedule to visit New York, so that she could meet with the Broadcast Journalism students at the New York Film Academy.
Based in Beirut, Jane currently covers stories in the Middle East, as well as portions of Africa and South Asia. After screening examples of her work, she explained to the students the “story behind the story” — what it took to first find, then report, shoot and edit these reports.
She also discussed a concern shared by all students: “How do you get your first job?”
One of the highlights of the session was an opportunity for students to talk one-on-one with Jane, where she answered their individual questions as well as helped them practice the essential art of “networking.”
Jane’s visit was one of a series of unique experiences available exclusively to students in NYFA’s 1-Year Broadcast Journalism Conservatory program. In addition to meeting outstanding news reporters, producers and executives, students also get behind-the-scenes tours of NBC News and other major New York City production facilities.
Daily Flash TV, Open Exchange, and TV Cultura With New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism AlumnsAny of my current or former students will remember how much I emphasize “collaboration” when it comes to the field of broadcast journalism. Put simply, in our craft it is virtually impossible to do what we do alone. (At the very least, somebody has to help carry all of that equipment…)Good journalists don’t keep secrets from their coworkers. Instead, they discuss stories and leads with them. In the process, they often find out new, essential information or discover how story elements might be better communicated.Journalism.co.uk posted a nice feature recently on how the editors at the 13 international editions of HuffPost (formerly the Huffington Post) collaborated on a story about air pollution. The project made clear the global dimensions of this problem, how in some places simply breathing the air is a health hazard, and the sad fact that low-income communities always seem to be at the greatest risk.It’s a thoughtful, important, and alarming series.Perhaps it is not coincidental, but as we shiver here in New York, I have more reports on what some of our graduates are doing in warmer places…Danielle Beckford posted some good news on Facebook over the weekend:
“Got an amazing opportunity to do what I love to do, report on the top social media trending topics for the week on @dailyflash.tv… Catch me on America’s favorite TV happy hour this Monday.”Far further south, where it is in fact summer, Vanessa Lorenzini is working as a multimedia reporter at TV Cultura in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Via LinkedIn she wrote:“Thanks to everything I learned at NYFA, now I can work all by myself. I record, interview, write the scripts and record the voiceovers. I am really happy.”That’s wonderful to hear, Vanessa. I still show students a story Vanessa did about how to keep your pet dog safe during cold New York City winters…And speaking about chilly New York, recent graduate and now former Teaching Assistant Hannah Palmhagen wrote me via good old-fashioned email about the job she has at a financial consulting company called Open Exchange.“I’ve been here at Open Exchange for two weeks now and it’s great, learning the process and understanding it better. I’m under contract as a Video Editor, although once settling in I will shoot the presentations and interviews with the bankers and investors that we work with as well.”Fact is, Hannah is so new on the job that she doesn’t have any work pictures yet. So here she is, back when she was a NYFA student, using one of Broadcast Journalism program’s Canon C300 cameras to shoot a story. Congratulations, Hannah!
So, for graduates of the NYFA 1-Year Broadcast Journalism program, these pictures should bring back some memories!
This month, the Fall 2017 1-Year students got an exclusive “behind the scenes” look at NBC News. It was all made possible by NBC News military affairs contributor Col. Jack Jacobs, who is also Chair of the NYFA Veteran’s Advancement program.
While visiting NBC News, the students had the opportunity to meet MSNBC anchor Joy Reid.
Then, they visited the set of her program “AM Joy,” while the show was in progress.
Since prime time anchor Lester Holt was off, the NYFA students decided to help out as “substitute anchors” on the set of the “NBC Nightly News.”
…and made a quick visit to make-up.They even had to chance to visit the set of “Saturday Night Live” during rehearsals. (You can hear the band playing here.)
In fact, they even found out about some of the jokes on that night’s show, 10 hours before air time!
These tours are available only to students in the NYFA Broadcast Journalism 1-Year Conservatory program. This group seems to have had fun…
As much fun as it can be to watch contestants struggle on “American Idol” or “The Voice,” we never want to experience that kind of rejection in our own real-life “auditions” for in the news industry. Broadcast journalists know right off the bat that the most important tool in a job search — besides strong instincts, cutting-edge skills, and hard work — is a persuasive demo reel that demonstrates the outstanding talent and skills you can bring to an organization.
But in a deeply competitive market, what makes a broadcast journalism reel truly fantastic? How can broadcast journalists set themselves apart? At the New York Film Academy, Broadcast Journalism Department Chair Bill Einreinhofer believes in sharing precisely this kind of up-to-date industry insight with his students.
“A great reel looks and sounds distinctive,” he explains. “That separates it from the dozens of other reels someone looking to make a hire has to screen.”
Many have heard the common advice that busy news producers and station directors will probably only spend a few seconds watching your reel and then stop if they’re not hooked. So you put your best material first on the reel to get them to actually watch your, and call you in for an interview … but how do you know what material is your best material? How do you make your reel better? Who should you work with to put the reel together?
Questions like this are important for even experienced journalists to take a moment to consider when putting together their reel. Mr. Einreinhofer took the time to share some examples of great NYFA alumni reels, together with insights about crafting the strongest reels with the NYFA Blog. Check out stellar reel examples from NYFA alumni Lara Gato and Alyssa Cruz, along with Mr. Einreinhofer’s advice on crafting a winning broadcast journalism reel.
NYFA Blog: What separates a great broadcast journalism reel from a decent reel?
BE: A great reel looks and sounds distinctive. That separates it from the dozens of other reels someone looking to make a hire has to screen.
You don’t save your best for the end. Rather, you put it at the very top. Otherwise, whoever is screening the reel will likely never see it. In addition, “one size does not fit all.” Just as you tailor your resume to match a job posting, your reel should reflect the elements and abilities that are mentioned in that posting.
NYFA: Can a student create a great reel on their own, or should they work with others — and who?
BE: It is always a good idea to discuss a reel with your colleagues, friends and (if you have one) your mentor. What might seem clear and easy-to-understand could, in fact, be less than obvious. “Fresh eyes” are always valuable.
NYFA: Why does the reel matter so much for broadcast journalists? What’s its purpose?
BE: The reel doesn’t get you the job. The reel gets you the interview which can get you the job. It is the ticket that gets you in the door.
NYFA: What’s the difference between a student reel and a professional reel? What do industry insiders look for?
BE: For on-air talent, the key is to be authentically yourself. Television is a personality-driven medium, and that continues to hold true even today when many people watch “television” on a variety of mobile devices, but not a television.
The one thing that makes you different from all the other people applying for the job you want if your own uniqueness. Use that to your advantage, so you will stand out from the crowd.
Ready to learn more about crafting an incredible reel and polishing your skills as a broadcast journalist? Apply today for the New York Film Academy’s Broadcast Journalism School.
NYFA Graduate Miriam Eryan, now a producer in Australia for The Morning Show
Miriam Eryan was formerly a media librarian at the Seven Network in Sydney, Australia. In July 2010, she enrolled in a four-week Broadcast Journalism workshop at New York Film Academy, which she comments was one of the “greatest opportunities” of her life. Eryan explained, “not only did it equip me with career confidence through its technical lessons in camera operation and editing but it also gave me access to one of the greatest cities in the world.”
Miriam Eryan poses with NYFA Broadcast Journalism Chair Joe Alicastro at graduation
Eryan’s New York education gave her opportunities to enter the production field when she returned to Sydney, moving through the ranks as a researcher to a production assistant to a booking agent and producer for the highest rated morning program in Australia. As a producer for The Morning Show, Eryan’s chases and captures have included securing Australia’s first interviews with Piers Morgan, Perez Hilton, Linda Hogan, and Nadya Suleman (Octomom). Eryan explained, “I attribute this success to the tenacity that I discovered I had in New York. Being placed out of my comfort zone taught me how much I love and thrive off being challenged. It taught me to think creatively and taught me that I can survive the industry.”
Miriam Eryan with her New York Film Academy classmates
Eryan adds that she felt “inspired by both the dedicated and professional staff” and touched by the friendships that she formed. “I still keep in contact with half of the class and love that I can travel anywhere in the world and have a place to stay and a journalist to share tales with.” Eryan comments that she regularly keeps up with classmates including Samantha Steffan who now works for E Online, Lizzie Muse who works for Elle Online, Bruna Sinhorini who works for a Brazilian TV Show, Olivia Duncan who reports for a local news station in LA, and Ashley Anderson who now works for The Voice Tribune in Louisville, Kentucky. Follow Miriam on Twitter @MiriamEryan.