A Spectrum of Journalism


Spectrum News is a 24/7 local news channel that is available on channel 1 in over 13 cities in the United States including New York, Los Angeles, and even Hawaii. They are a growing part of local news business and are big believers in the value of local journalism. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit California and take a look at the new Spectrum LA News studio. It was full of surprises and I learned so much about the differences of journalism in the television format to the writing format. I hope you enjoy and maybe learn something!

I saw how a real new station operated, and it had many aspects of production. They have areas for scheduling, filming, and even logging which moves basketball stars did for replay. Everything was a well-oiled machine, so to speak.

They have shows about weather, politics, pop culture, and many more. Each cover different issues and events happening in modern-day society. They also air live surfing from Hawaii, on all the time.

Their political show Inside the Issues, anchored by Alex Cohen, focuses on dilemmas facing our country and other places around the world. Some include beach erosion, transgenderism, the current opioid crisis, the death penalty, and even Coachella.

Many of their journalists are multimedia, which means they research their own information, edit it, and publish themselves to the web without any assistance. Some like Alex Cohen research their own show and then anchor for it on live TV. This just shows the versatility it takes to put on a production.

Robert Santos anchors for weather, and uses visuals to convey his forecast. “You have to work with the models…” he says. The models, though on the TV screen appear, are not visibly apparent to the eye. He has to pretend they are actually there and gesture to them on a green screen.

While I was there, Kelvin Washington who hosts Afternoon Beat let me help him with a feature about cheese. More specifically, a story on how hip-hop music effects how cheese ages. It was fun and nerve-wracking being filmed and aired on live TV.  It made me really appreciate the job people on TV do.

There is so much coordination required for a news studio, so they have an entire group of employees spending all of their time scheduling. Spectrum News also has a section and group of people that cover scheduling of their channel, which coordinates which shows air at what time.

While I was there I also got to see the studios for Sportsnet LA, another channel, and I was taken through the studios where Dodgers and Lakers pros broadcast all of their game coverage. In the Lakers studio, there is a 24-foot curved monitor on the walls, and the Dodgers studio was constructed to look like the Dodgers’ locker room.

Also, the chairs in the Lakers studio were extra tall, for their extra tall players.

I personally learned so much about the many types and forms of journalism, and I hope you did too.  #IHeartTheFreePress