CNN Tour Inspires with Intricate News Operation


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Writers, editors, control room operators and anchors shuffled around the security-equipped office in the Washington, D.C. bureau of CNN. With time closing in on the Presidential Inauguration, the newsroom bustled with anticipation and special accommodations for the coming event.

Major news stations will soon be setting up camp in the facility, located just a short trip away from the nation’s Capitol building. The cameras will all be streaming the same coverage from the CNN Washington bureau headquarters.

What Doane Student Media does at Doane College in approximately three different rooms is mass-multiplied into four floors at CNN. And that was just for the Washington, D.C. bureau. The tour guide consistently reminded the group of the even more massive Atlanta, Ga. bureau. Compared to the tiny but bustling newsroom in our quaint town of Crete, Neb. the idea of an even more massive newsroom seems unfathomable.

The differences were evident. Any member of Doane Student Media has the knowledge to write a story, produce a video package, cut a radio slot or take a photo. And while the workers at CNN  have those same abilities, many have specific jobs that require them to apply a more refined journalistic approach to their everyday job description.

At Doane College, a student could record themselves in the field for a video package, shoot additional video footage and edit it all together by themselves. But at CNN, the video editor rarely has contact with the reporter. Instead, a producer is the go-between that communicates with the editor and reporter. Each person has their own task, although one editor reminded us of the growing need to succeed in multiple facets of journalism. Versatility, he reminded us, was important to set ourselves apart from the rest.

With more resources, more manpower and more time, it was truly an exhilarating experience to see a large-scale news operation unfold before our eyes.

Like kids in a candy store, the big newsroom opened our eyes to an operation that none of us will soon forget. It also reminded us that the big world is out there waiting for a story. We just have to find it.

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