Lions Visit PBS

Journalism Academy Takes a Trip to the Rhode Island PBS News Studio


Christopher Cooke, Lion´s Roar Staff

     Each day thousands of news stories are published on national and localized television stations. Many ask, what goes into a broadcast before the audience sees the final production? On Thursday, September 15th, the Lions Roar News Team went on a field trip to Rhode Island PBS to get some of these questions answered.

     The first excursion of the long-anticipated tour was a group viewing of the Rhode Island PBS Weekly show production, which aired on Sunday, September 18th at 7:30 pm EDT. Before the show, both broadcasters, Pamela Watts and Michelle San Miguel gave the class some information about their background and advice they have for young journalists. One of the many advantages they mentioned was the format of their show with the PBS Network is the show is prerecorded, meaning they can make the show as perfect as possible. An example of perfecting the broadcast was a retake because of a fly caught on camera. Another observation made on the studio was their use of a “safety” clip, even when the take was excellent, which is done in the case of a file being corrupted.

     The broadcast started with Pamela Watts saying, “good evening and welcome to Rhode Island PBS weekly” followed by Michelle San Miguel’s introduction, “and I’m Michelle San Miguel”. Throughout the broadcast, the words of the broadcasters were articulated and delivered to perfection, having their voices echo through the studio in harmony.

     After the nearly hour-long process of filming, it was onto a full-scale tour of the facility. The production studio was the first no studio stop, which is where all the clips are edited and put to life. The crew highlighted the live TV monitors being a minute or so ahead of the cable broadcast, to pick up on and correct any major errors before their work is in the public eye.

     The expansive tour of the studio extended into the floor tiles, where thousands of wires are hidden from sight. Our tour guide, Coleen Kenyon, exposed the wires by using a suction cup tool to unengage the tile square. The amount of wires involved in just producing a film is astounding.

     Our day was then capped off with a lunch provided by our friends at PBS and a zoom call with our regional representative for PBS Student Reporting Labs. The conference gave us the foundations of what to expect going into a new year with a new leader. A lot of hard work is in store for our revamped Lions Roar team, but also tons to look forward to.