30 Rock

On Wednesday afternoon students had the opportunity to visit NBC and observe an incredibly busy news day. Media Studies Alumna Amber Payne (’04) found time during her crazy work day to give us a tour of the newsroom and studio. A good number of majors are interested in journalism and television production, making 30 Rock one of the highlights of our trip. Amber walked us through an average day for her, explaining all the meetings, background research, and collaboration that goes into each segment of The NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.

Above is the set of the Nightly News. The majors also walked through the SNL stage. As you can imagine, these studios produce very different shows, but on occasion there is some interesting overlap. Don’t believe me? Watch this very funny video. Can you say synergy?

Our friends at NBC also encouraged the Media Studies majors to apply for the coveted page positions. The NBC Page Program introduces recent college graduates into NBC Universal, giving them a window into the production and business behind their holdings. There is a program on the east coast and another on the west coast. Apparently it’s easier to get into Harvard than it is to become an NBC page, a harsh reality that often does not come across in the comical representation seen on 30 Rock! Just for fun, watch the video below to see America’s favorite fictional page, Kenneth at work.

Young Journalists Unite

College students seeking jobs or internships in journalism are united by nervousness. With the slow economy and shrinking newsrooms, it’s difficult to be optimistic about our professional goals. Even with this uncertainty, the challenges presented by the rapidly changing news industry also come with opportunities. For example, Amber emphasized the importance of digital journalism and the unique role our generation of reporters will play in broadcast news. It’s important for aspiring journalists to not only write and research, but also shoot, edit, and publish their final products. We have to be self-starting, one-man shows capable of contributing to each step of the process. In essence, the media environment is challenging us to either get out or get tough. Knowing the moxy of my classmates, it’s not hard to guess what UVA students will do.

Who’s up for the challenge?

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