Job Shadow: TV reporter stresses camera, tripod use

By Elizabeth Gosling

Calling and asking for interviews every day is an important part of Jesse Yang’s work as a reporter for station WQOW TV. © 2015 Photo Elizabeth Gosling

Jesse Yang works at WQOW TV in Eau Claire as a reporter.

She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism. During her university career, she went through a phase from majoring in biology to journalism.

During Yang’s professional experiences, she worked at WHYS Radio for a Hmong show and helped with stories. She also focused on social media and marketing during her internship at Porter Place, a women’s ministry. In addition, she interned at WQOW from October  to December 2013 during her senior year at UW-Eau Claire.

When January of the following year came around, Yang was hired and has been working at WQOW ever since.

Yang’s typical day consists of coming in by 9:15 a.m. with story ideas for the daily meeting. After the meeting, she starts researching, contacting people for interviews, and making trips to go visit them. Her day ends around 6:30 p.m., after the final newscast is finished.

Yang said that any day, she could be covering anything.

Her job encompasses more than meets the eye. She said that reporters are also photographers and video editors.

“I think it is important especially to pay attention during the capstone courses,” Yang said for future Journalism graduates. “Especially if you are going into broadcast, you want to be able to know how to write broadcast style and be able to translate into print style so that you’ll be able to put it online, on social media and different multimedia platforms.”

Yang emphasized the importance of knowing how to use a camera and a tripod. She said that when you have a job at a TV station, it is helpful to have the prior experience using the equipment.

“You’re not in a classroom anymore, you don’t have a teacher telling you what to do and how to do it,” Yang said of the transition from school to work. “You are working with professionals and you have to be up to speed as to how the station environment is, know how to tailor to the station’s writing and shooting and putting the stories together; it’s really important.”

Comparing school equipment to station equipment, Yang said that it is the same idea of knowing how to shoot, zoom, pan, and knowing your wide views and tight views.

During one 30 second news piece, Yang said you should have 30 to 60 different shots.

Yang said that every day there is a deadline of 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. that reporters have to be ready for.

“I love reporting and being able to interact with the community and tell their stories,” she said.

Yang’s work can be found on Channel 18 and the WQOW website.

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