Cherubs boarded the ‘L’ train to Chicago to meet editors, reporters and anchors as part of the media field trip. The trip to the Chicago Sun-Times showed students what it is like to work in print by exposing them to a real newsroom and its editors, while the trip to ABC studios enhanced their interests in broadcast by allowing them to watch a live recording of the news.
At ABC studios, cherubs observed the production of the 11 a.m. news, meeting anchors Terrell Brown, Tracy Butler and Judy Hsu. They watched the technical team edit and joke about adding a video of someone falling off a water slide to the weather reporter’s green screen.
“They rolled out the red carpet for us,” Alex Gaul said. “We got to see how relaxed the anchors were. They would go to commercial and immediately look at us and say, ‘Hey guys! How are you?’”
Cherubs witnessed the chaos of a broadcast newsroom, and Danielle Eisenman said she loved the vibe.
“I felt welcomed there,” Eisenman said. “The community was beautiful.”
Kevin Carpenter, director of digital operations at WLS-TV/ABC, organized the tour and answered numerous cherub questions as did Jennifer Graves, WLS-TV vice president and news director.
At the Sun-Times, cherubs met the entertainment editor and former cherub Darel Jevens as well as Pulitzer Prize-winning crime reporter Frank Main. Both Jevens and Main expressed worry about the future of newspapers and competition in a two-paper town.
“It’s interesting to hear about the competition and how the Tribune is affecting the Sun-Times,” Sammi Handler said.
Jevens and Main also talked about how the internet has altered newspapers and how their jobs have changed in the past decade.
“Even though I only know print and I love print, it’s not all that convenient anymore,” Sarah Pillard said. “When you pick up the newspaper, that news is already 24 hours old or more. When you go online it could be a minute old, which is what they talked about at the Sun-Times.”
Jevens and Main talked about competing with the Chicago Tribune. Before the internet, a newspaper had hours to write crime stories, Main said. Now, publishing a crime story takes only five minutes after a call to confirm information with the police.
“They made us feel like real journalists and treated us like serious visitors,” Alexandra Chaidez said.
The trips showed cherubs what their futures could be like.
“I learned these weeks that it’s important to be experienced in different types of media,” Pillard said. “The media trip made that even more clear.”