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Students Find Their Niche in TV News

Published: July 30, 2008
As a senior majoring in communication, Andrew Klein was oriented toward work in film. Now, as an intern for City of Tampa Television (CTTV), where he regularly produces professional video news pieces, a future in TV could possibly be in the works, he says.

Klein is one of a handful of UT students who have found their niche in the world of TV news this summer, completing internships at stations in Tampa and elsewhere. As one of two interns at CTTV in the latter half of the summer, Klein has so far had the opportunity to write news scripts, edit video pieces and do on-camera reporting.

“I wasn’t too sure about TV at first, but I came to like it,” Klein said. “Whether it’s editing for shows or helping in the studio or in the field, you’re a part of what they do over there.”

In the last several weeks, Klein’s efforts produced stories for a show titled “Spotlight Tampa,” highlighting various newsworthy events in the city. On one story, Klein focused on a reconstruction project at a Tampa city park. Another story covered the opening of three new restaurants in downtown Tampa.

The CTTV internship is unique in that it involves students in every aspect of TV production including writing, directing, producing, and even acting, said Dr. Tim Kennedy, chair of the UT communication department .

Anthony Rosa, a junior majoring in film and media arts, also interns for CTTV. Thus far, Rosa has had the opportunity to do voiceover work, reading scripts of the various news segments and station identification messages. More recently, Rosa’s tasks have included work on a story about hurricane preparedness and another focusing on the Tampa Police Department.

Key to the entire internship process at CTTV is the opportunity students have to construct a “sample reel” DVD. This video portfolio of their work can be a valuable tool for students to obtain professional work after graduation.

“We couldn’t do it without them,” said Brian Sullivan, a CTTV producer and UT adjunct professor. “The school does a really good job of teaching them the fundamentals of TV production. They’re just like every other member of the team here. It’s a great introduction to the working world.”

For junior Ellery McCardle, it was personal determination that landed her an internship with WINK – a CBS affiliate based in Fort Myers, FL.

Today McCardle is getting the hands-on experience she needs to pursue a career as a TV news reporter. Earlier in the summer, her work was focused on film editing before she moved on to writing story scripts for the station’s five evening newscasts. Most recently, McCardle has had the opportunity to shadow individual reporters.

One major highlight of her job involved coverage of a manslaughter trial in Ft. Myers. At the reading of the jury’s verdict, she waited live inside the courtroom with throngs of other media, reporting the facts via cell phone to the WINK reporters outside.

“TV is definitely the place I want to be,” McCardle said. “You don’t know where you want to be unless you can get a position in the field like this.”

Other UT students have completed internships at Fox 13/WTVT-Tampa, NBC/WFLA-Tampa, and CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta.