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Want to Join the News Watch Team?
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
How do I apply?
- Complete the WEIU News Team application.
- Have it signed by at least two of your current teachers.
- Submit a portfolio of examples of your work such as news stories, videography, news reading, reporting, editing or other types of work.
- Submit an original essay on why you want to pursue a career in broadcast news and what you expect to gain from the program.
- If selected, WEIU will contact you and offer the scholarship.
- A panel made of one faculty member each from journalism and speech communication joined by a WEIU staff member will review applications and recommend awards to WEIU.
WEIU News Team Standards
All members of Eastern’s WEIU News Team are expected to adhere to the WEIU rules and guidelines provided to each news team volunteer and scholarship applicant, be responsible, have a great attitude, work hard, be dedicated and have fun! There will be opportunities to fill various news production and content positions. You are expected to fulfill the duties of any position to which you are assigned. The time commitment varies with different assignments but expect to spend 10-20 hours each week to fulfill your assignment. There are set times that all News Team members are expected to keep open even though they may not always be scheduled at these times. These are Monday through Friday from 5-6:15 p.m. and Monday 6:15–8 p.m. Different positions require availability at specific times and students often try to schedule their classes in order to be available for the assignments they want most (see attached job description sheet for times). The news director will work with you on finding assignments that fit your class schedule.
Are any scholarships available?
WEIU-TV will award about 20 scholarships based on costs to attend Eastern Illinois University (EIU).
Who is eligible?
News Team Scholarships are open to undergraduates in the Electronic Journalism and Communication Option majoring in Journalism or Communication Studies for at least 12 credit hours in the semester for which the scholarship is requested. A current GPA of at least 2.5 for Eastern students and 2.75 for transfer students or incoming freshmen is also required.
Are the scholarships renewable?
Undergraduate students may re-apply for scholarships for each semester they meet the criteria up to a total of eight semesters. You can expect to keep your scholarship as long as you meet the WEIU-TV/WEIU News Watch standards. Fulfilling your responsibilities in a responsible, mature manner is critical. You must maintain the academic standards listed above and build a portfolio of your work. This portfolio will be reviewed each semester by a professional panel. They will help you recognize and build on your strengths, overcome weaknesses and make sure that you are progressing satisfactorily.
It’s recommended News Watch scholarship applicants reside in the Lincoln/Stevenson/Douglas Complex, University Apartments or in off-campus housing. Scholarship recipients will be expected to work:
- Labor Day
- Fall Break
- Thanksgiving Recess
- Final Exams Week
- Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday
- Spring Recess
Scholarship Recipients will not be granted time off for both Thanksgiving and Spring Recess.
The news anchor will be part of a team that exemplifies leadership, responsibility and diligence. The news anchor will be required to work Monday through Friday (five days a week) from 5:30-7:30 p.m. This person will also be required to meet with the news director on perfecting the performance. A news anchor should be able to tell a story to the viewers, not simply read a story off the teleprompter.
The weather anchor should possess a strong knowledge of weather and climate, especially how it affects east central Illinois. A strong weather forecaster has experience in his or her field and is able to communicate the information in a conversational manner. This position will require the employee to arrive at work two hours prior to the newscast Monday through Friday to prepare several forecasts and create graphics for the evening edition of News Watch. Research should include information from the National Weather Service and include various other statistics from various Internet sites. The weather anchor may also find it helpful to watch and check weather segments from commercial TV stations in our broadcast market. This position is, again, Monday through Friday. (4-6:30 p.m.)
Like news and weather, the sports anchor exemplifies leadership, responsibility and knowledge of our local coverage area. As a leader, the sports anchor would be an important part of team planning and coordinating local sporting events (weekly and on the weekends) to cover as news events. The sports anchor would also be responsible for producing the nightly sports segment for WEIU News Watch. The sports anchor would be required to begin planning the sports segment three hours prior to news time Monday through Friday. The sports anchor would also, when needed, serve as sports reporter and videographer for various athletic events.
A strong team of Reporters will allow WEIU News Watch to adequately serve our 12 county viewing area by expanding our talents beyond Coles County. News Watch reporters must be able to enterprise their own stories on a daily basis. They will be required to present story ideas to the assignment editor on a daily basis. News Watch reporters will be asked to accomplish a package during their shift on top of other duties, including, but not limited to, VOs, VOSOTs, readers, reader slates, SOTs, and police department beat calls. Reporters must be able to learn the community and make contacts within the community to help with story development and execution. Schedules will be either Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday. (Noon-6:30 p.m.)
A talented sports reporter is able to look beyond telling a story with highlights rather highlighting why or how someone became a talented athlete. The sports reporter will also serve as sports videographer, shooting games and stories as needed. Sports reporter will be asked to shoot and report packages, VOSOTs, readers, reader slates, and SOTs. The sports reporter will work closely with the sports anchor developing a top-notch local sports segment. The sports reporter will also be asked to work closely and get to know various coaches in the twelve county viewing area. Similar to a news reporter, a sports reporter will be required to enterprise their own stories on a daily basis. They will be required to present story ideas to the sports anchor and assignment editor on a daily basis. The sports reporter must be able to look beyond telling the story with highlights. Schedules will be either Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday. The schedule could also vary depending on times of various athletic events.
Videographers will serve both News Watch and Sports Watch. Videographers would also be scheduled to cover both news and weather events beyond the current scheduled afternoon hours. Videographers would “essentially” be on call 24 hours a day to shoot news as warranted. Schedules would be varied to accommodate news, weather and sports. Videographers must also be prepared to cover news events alone if a reporter is not available. Schedules will be either Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday (Noon-6:30 p.m.)
This person is sometimes defined as “The Traffic Cop.” Ideally, the assignment editor should be available throughout the day as he or she coordinates stories and shoot times with the reporters and videographers. The assignment editor must be a master at developing sources and story ideas on a daily basis. On a daily basis, the assignment editor must be reading several local newspapers along with several news and governmental websites. The assignment editor will also make the first round of police agency beat calls in the morning. The assignment editor will be responsible for creating a story assignment list with reporter, writer and videographer assignments. The assignment editor may also be required to set up stories for reporters. The assignment editor would start the day at 8 a.m. and work various times throughout the day depending on class schedule. Schedules will be either Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday. (8-10 a.m.)
The core of the newscast relies on the expertise of the producer. The producer is the backbone of the newscast and is responsible for working with reporters on stories and story development. The producer must be a strong writer and know how to stack a newscast in the most beneficial way to our customers. Like Reporters, a producer must develop contacts within a community and also be able to come up with story ideas on a daily basis. The producer is also responsible for making sure all the production aspects of the newscast are completed and done professionally. The producer would be required to work five hours prior to the newscast either Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday. (Noon-6:30 p.m.)
Writers will spend a minimum of two hours per work shift writing various stories for the newscast. Writers will be required to re-write press releases and stories from wire and satellite news services such as CNN and Associated Press. Writers may also be asked to call sources on stories and re-write the information they’ve gathered. A writer may also assist reporters, producers and assignment editors with various duties including police beat calls. Schedules will be either Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday. (11 a.m.-4 p.m.)
Technical Director (TD)
This position is responsible for technically directing WEIU News Watch. The TD must arrive one hour prior to news time and check all the machinery for proper operation. The TD will be responsible for reporting all problems on the switcher to the news director and broadcast engineer. The TD must also be able to maintain professionalism during the newscast and be able to take direction from the person serving as director. Schedules will be either Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday. (5-6:30 p.m.)
Responsible for “calling the shots” during the newscast. The director controls the operation during the newscast by instructing all production positions on what to do during the newscast. The director must arrive one hour prior to newscast to begin preparing scripts. Schedules will be either Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday. (4-6:30 p.m.)
Character Generator Operator (CG)
Responsible for all on-air graphics. The CG operator must arrive two hours prior to news time to begin preparing all text needed on screen for the newscast. The CG operator will also work with the weather anchor preparing on-air weather graphics and also work to prepare box graphics for news and sports. The CG must also be able to maintain professionalism during the newscast and be able to take direction from the person serving as director. Schedules will be either Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday (4 -6:30 p.m.)
The VTR operator is responsible for editing all CNN video within the newscast. The operator may also be asked to assist news with editing any local, state or national video. VTR operator must be available to begin working two hours prior to news time. The VTR operator must also be able to maintain professionalism during the newscast and be able to take direction from the person serving as director. Schedules will be either Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday. (3-6:30 p.m.)
Prompter, Audio, Studio Camera
Prompter, audio operator and camera operator will all be expected to arrive one hour prior to news time. All are expected to be at their machines at that time to inspect the equipment for possible malfunction. The prompter operator, audio technician and camera operator must also be able to maintain professionalism during the newscast and be able to take direction from the person serving as director. Schedules will be either Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday. (5-6:30 p.m.)