An Inside Look at Talon Television

Kayla Green—For those of you who have read my blog before, you know that I am a journalism student and that I am very active in Brockport’s on-campus TV station, Talon Television. I’ve never gone into depth about what exactly we do at Talon, though, so I decided to now!

I joined Talon TV the first semester of my freshman year. Over the years, I’ve made some close friends and lots of memories at Talon. My sophomore year I served as the co-entertainment director and co-hosted an entertainment recap show. We talked about all things pop culture such as music, movies, TV, tech, and gossip. Being on this show really brought me out of my shell, and I got to talk about all my favorite celebrities every week — what could be better?!

This year, I serve as the news director, after falling in love with news this past summer. We produce a newscast each week (News 4 Brockport), usually ranging from 12-15 minutes (so far!). I write the script throughout the week, with help from club members who volunteer to cover stories. They then write up scripts for whatever story they covered, and I check it over and give them notes. I usually finish the final touches on the script the night before production. We shoot the newscasts on Wednesday nights a 7:00. Prior to shooting, I assign roles so everyone knows what they have to do when they arrive. These roles include director, assistant director, floor manager, camera operator, sound engineer, and teleprompter operator. If extra people show up, we always have extra spots, even if it’s just to observe one of the positions so they know what to do for next time.

Up until last week, we had 2 different anchors for each newscast. I wanted to give everyone who wanted to a chance to anchor the show. Once everyone who wanted to had tried it, I chose a permanent news team, including 2 news anchors, a sports anchor, and a meteorologist. I’m very excited to move forward with a consistent team; this will give us more credibility and familiarity, like a real news station.

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A typical production consists of getting the anchors mic-ed up, having them read over and run through the scripts a bit, giving the directors a chance to page through the script and mark important switches, camera movements, and spots to cue b-roll (video footage that plays over the anchors talking). Once we begin production, it feels like a real news control room. We make real calls out loud, interact with each other, and everyone gets in “the zone”. Each week the smoothness of production gets better. However, we are still human and make mistakes, so since we’re not live we allow the anchors to restart sometimes if needed.

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After we finish production, I gather the footage and edit it together into the final newscast. Editing is minimal since we cue most of the video live, but I sometimes have to put in logos, music, or other small details. Newscasts go live on Thursdays at 5:00 on our website, talontv.org. We share the link all over social media, and our numbers have been increasing significantly the past few weeks. So far, we have done one newscast each week since school started, totaling 7. I plan to do 14 per semester.

Talon is such a fun time for me, in both building my professional skills and hanging out with my friends doing what we love to do. News is only one part of our awesome club; we also have entertainment, sports, campus life, and promotions departments. Everyone on our board of directors is so motivated and this year has been a huge turning point for Talon TV. We are gaining momentum on campus and starting to become a reliable news source for students and community members alike. This experience has been a huge part of my college career so far and I can’t wait to see what else is to come for us!

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