A broadcast journalism major isn’t something you see every day on campus. Usually anything dealing with the news will be under that broad “Journalism” umbrella. Here and now – we are going to get a little bit more specific because being a Broadcast journalism major provides you with an entirely different experience than any other course of study out there.
1. Don’t expect to get much sleep
There was a time where a good night’s sleep was easy to obtain. It was effortless to get 8 hours a night and wake up refreshed, rejuvenated, and unbothered. How easy it would be to peel off a cucumber, tea-tree oil infused overnight face mask in front of the mirror and uncover skin moisturized and vibrant – not a stress zit in site. This was summertime.
You can throw all that away when you start studying broadcast in the fall though.
Not only do you have to juggle all of your regular core classes, you also have to juggle a camera and tripod that would weigh in at about 35 pounds collectively. Planning out interviews, capturing b-roll, and shooting and editing video takes time. You have to train yourself to plan and party accordingly if you want to walk out with that broadcast degree.
2. When you go to the gym, make sure you slide in a set of bicep curls at the SRSC.
Remember when I mentioned the 35-pound camera and tripod? That wasn’t an exaggeration. Although television cameras may be a bit smaller with these new technological advancements and all, there are a lot of universities who will simply refuse to dole out the cash for these upgrades. Enter the real T.V camera. It’s big, bulky, and hard on the eye. It’s pretty important to train your arms, legs, torso – basically your entire body for the travel across campus. So be prepared for the workout.
3. Check, double check, triple check your lav mic.
QUADRUPLE check it. There’s nothing worse than conducting and interview only to find out your mic was on the wrong channel, not turned on, or simply not plugged in all the way. It’s the cherry on top when you have to call your interviewee and explain why you need to reschedule for a ‘second’ interview and have them live through that hell in front of the media school all over again.
4. Your hair is half your identity
Even for the guys, the hair is basically half your broadcast identity in television. It needs to be coiffed and pristine – dare I say unmoving? For an exceptional capture on camera. These days producers are beginning to loosen up on hair presentation but when you are called to be on screen, have the hairspray ready just in case.
5. It’s always awkward doing a stand-up in the middle of campus
If you want to know real humiliation try doing a stand-up in front of 50,000 students walking to and from class. Being in this industry, you are required to have a tough skin. You have to carry some otherworldly sense of confidence in order to deliver the ‘university news’ efficiently. Most of the time you’re a one man band anyway, so it’s extra pressure when you have to start/stop recording yourself in front of a million judgmental and curious stares.
6. Don’t sweat too much on your way to filming, PACK extra clothes
Being a broadcast major you’ll more than likely be a reporter for your school’s television station – or be on camera at some point during classes. Going to a university by itself is hard work when it comes to transportation. Unless you’re blessed with a small liberal arts college, or community school where your home and classes are a 10 minute walk away – you need to be prepared before a shoot. The horror of walking on set with a fire-engine red, armpit sweat-stained J Crew fitted dress is just too much to bear! Bring your set clothes in a separate bag, wear your gym cloths on the way.
7. If you don’t practice with a fake online teleprompter, you might as well report your news with peanut butter in your mouth.
It may seem easy to those who know absolutely nothing about broadcast. But anchoring and reporting is a difficult profession when it comes to dictation, linguistics, and pronunciation. You have to deliver your reports with impeccable grace and professionalism to be taken seriously. The only way to do this correctly? Is to practice. And practice some more. Never stop practicing. Never make Ernie Pyle roll over in his grave.
8. You get to fill your wardrobe with fabulous clothes
There are some upsides of being a Broadcast Journalism major. First of all, you get to wear the classiest and most enviable get ups. Enter in the Barbara Walters inspired wardrobe with sleek necklines, blazers, and fitted dresses. Or maybe you’d go for a Megyn Kelly vibe who rocks the streamlined silhouette- and never without that stiletto heel. You’ll be on that ‘grown adult’ vibe way before hitting senior year and when you dress for success, you’d be surprised at the change in work ethic.
9. You will always know the right make-up to wear
You know when people say ‘the camera adds 10 pounds’? Well that’s true. And it also brightens, enhances, and lights up your entire face. This is why it’s very important to be in tune with what you’re wearing make-up wise when on camera and on campus. Let’s say you want to put on your face before your last class then head to the studio. Will this work? Probably. But you’re risking a sweaty entrance where re-application is a must and tardiness is a definite. A bright lip is perfectly fine as long as it’s red or a muted pink- but a broadcast journalism major knows that nude and fall inspired colors sometimes work best when in a university setting.
10. You will always be comparing your school’s newspaper with the school T.V. station
Print students always like to spew that the ‘classic way is the best way’ and broadcast students will say the ‘newspaper is dying’. This is all fluff and hot air. Both print and digital media serve a divine purpose in informing the masses. We are news and the world needs us both. So as one broadcast major to another – study hard, stay fit, look fabulous, and take over the screen.