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Reporting live: Cherubs tour Chicago newsrooms

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Cherubs pose behind the broadcast desk at the Chicago NBC station. Photo by Carlin McCarthy

When Ben Shapiro of Paoli, Pennsylvania, stepped foot in the WMAQ-TV studio, he was surrounded by people—meteorologists, reporters, makeup artists and tech crew members working together to bring a broadcast to life.

“I’m a little bit of a tech nerd,” he said, “so it was really cool to see how many pieces of equipment they had to run one show.”

Shapiro’s visit to WMAQ-TV, the local NBC affiliate, was part of the Medill cherubs program’s annual media tour. Students chose between visiting Block Club Chicago, the Chicago Sun-Times, WBEZ, WGN Radio and WMAQ-TV. 

The tours gave cherubs a glimpse into their futures as they watched the professional newsrooms at work. Shapiro said that he enjoyed seeing the collaborative environment at WMAQ-TV, saying that seeing the studio made him want to stay longer.

“No one was working on anything alone,” he said. “Rather than sitting in a cubicle from 9-5, you’re really talking and engaging with people.” 

Some cherubs also had the chance to visit print newsrooms. Anamika Anand of Saratoga, California, took a tour of Block Club Chicago, a nonprofit organization that focuses on diverse communities.

Anand said she chose to visit Block Club Chicago because she wanted to learn about a publication dedicated to covering parts of Chicago that aren’t usually represented in the news.

Lindsey Steel of Los Altos, California, also visited a nonprofit: the Chicago Sun-Times, located on Navy Pier. Although it rained all day, Steel said that she appreciated the view of the skyline that Sun-Times reporters see from their office windows. Steel said that she enjoyed the chance to see the newsroom in action.

“It was cool to see what news looks like as it develops,” Steel said.

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