Author: Chris Morales

Lloyd Siegel offers advice to McCarthy’s Studio News Production class

Lloyd Siegel giving a lecture to the class.

Professor Sissel McCarthy and one of her favorite journalism professors were back in the classroom together, after more than 25 years, last Wednesday. Lloyd Siegel, a 44-year veteran journalist of NBC News, visited McCarthy’s Studio News Production class to critique the latest Hunter News Now show. Siegel taught newsroom management at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism back in the 1990s during and after stints as a reporter, field producer, line producer, executive producer and vice president for news partnerships with NBC affiliates.

Siegel said he watched the fourth Hunter News Now newscast of the semester three times, making note of the many things students were doing right.  “I am really impressed with how you’re serving the Hunter audience,” said Siegel, who particularly liked  Krystie Calle’s story about scholar-athlete of the week Skylar Gill and Alexandra Ali’s piece on the African Student Union’s fashion show. “Your newscast showcases all the diversity, aspirations, ambitions and hard work of the Hunter community,” Siegel said.

Shot of Siegel from behind in a 45 angle.

He also shared some storytelling tips to help students make their packages even better, including one of the most important lessons he learned as a rookie reporter. “There’s only one story per story,” Siegel said. Although he understands the temptation to include everything that happened, Siegel explained it’s much better to do one story well. “Decide on the story, then more reporting and more facts.”

Group shot with Siegel and McCarthy's class.

News 12 Brooklyn’s Emily Lorsch gives advice to Sissel McCarthy’s class.

Emily Lorsch and Sissel McCarthy

News 12 Brooklyn’s multimedia journalist Emily Lorsch knows a few things about working under pressure and on deadline. “Sometimes I have to do a live shot and a quick story 15 minutes after getting to the scene of breaking news,” says Lorsch, who spoke to MEDPL 202 Reporting and Writing 2 students last Monday.

Lorsch studied journalism with Professor Sissel McCarthy at Emory University and started her on-air career at Binghamton, New York in 2014. “I learned so much in that small market, and it wasn’t competitive at all. All the reporters helped each other out,” says Lorsch, adding that’s not always the case in New York City, the country’s number one market.

When Lorsch does a story for News 12, she usually shoots all the video and interviews and even her own stand-up herself. She has a mental checklist that she shared with MEDPL students who are about to do their first visual story using only a smartphone.

“I always look for a character,” Lorsch says. “And then I think about how to make the story emotional.” As for the visuals, her first shot is always one that shows the entire scene, often an overhead view if possible. Then she films anything that may not be happening later, paying close attention to capture nat sound. Her next step is to do the interviews and then film her sources in action. Finally, she uses cutaway shots, which are close-ups that come in handy during the editing process. “My favorites are signs, flyers, tight shots of faces, and hands of people taking notes,” Lorsch says.
Professor McCarthy’s students will be posting their own visual stories on our YouTube channel, Hunter College Journalism, next week.

Sissel McCarthy's class with Emily Lorsch in the group photo

Former anchor offers advice to Sissel McCarthy’s students

Linda Vester giving a lecture to Sissel McCarthy's students.

Reporting the news on the radio or in an audio news story is definitely not as easy as it sounds, but coaching definitely helps, especially when it’s from a former anchor and correspondent from network and cable news. Last Thursday, former NBC News and Fox News anchor Linda Vester offered her coaching services to Reporting and Writing 2 students in Professor Sissel McCarthy’s class as they prepare to write, report and deliver their first audio news stories. 

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