The story behind the story: behind the scenes of a television newscast.

A normal Friday night for the viewers at home watching the 10 p.m. news update is entertaining and relaxing, but for the workers at the Fox 17 news station in Grand Rapids, Michigan who put the news broadcast on the air, it’s anything but relaxing. For the storytellers: It’s stressful, hectic, chaotic, and exciting.


For the editors, camera operators, journalists, and anchors the most important part of the job is to remember that “we’re in the business of storytelling” and it is their duty to produce an entertaining, informative, and factual broadcast seven nights a week.

Even though the broadcast doesn’t air until 10 p.m., often workers will arrive hours before to research, shoot, and report on the stories that will go live on the nightly news later that day.

Similar to Picasso, Michelangelo, or Vincent Van Gogh and how they use their paintbrushes to paint paintings, video journalists use a camera as their tool to tell stories.

The calm before the (media) storm…

The sports segment on the 10 p.m. news is called the “Fox 17 Blitz” and for the sports reporters in the winter, there Friday nights often include covering multiple different high school basketball games across the west side of the state. With numerous different sporting events to cover, multiple different media passes are also required.

For some reason, normal parking rules don’t apply to news coverage vehicles and they are allowed to park wherever they please. It’s almost some sort of un-written rule in society that if you work for a news station, you are allowed to park in fire lanes. When asking around the station about this, reporters simply responded by saying it’s “one of the perks of the biz.”

Game #1 Martin at Tri-Unity Christian: Thanks to a dominant second half, the Tri-Unity Christian Defenders ended up defeating the Martin Clippers 58-40, winning a District Title in the process.

Game #2 Potter’s House Christian at Calvin Christian: Calvin Christian defeated Potter’s House Christian 63-52. The Squires outscored Potter’s House by 10 in the second quarter and never looked back. Upsetting the 19-2 Pumas and winning the District Title in shocking fashion.

Following the sports reporters and anchors “run” (shooting schedule), they will often “fuel up” with some food, but on certain nights, due to a busy work schedule, the food will end up going to waste… Or in this case… Melting.

Following their pre-broadcast meal or lack thereof, it’s now a rush against the clock to time to edit together their highlights from their games earlier in the night. If everything goes according to plan, the viewer will not even think about the camera or the person who shot it, instead the story will speak for itself and the storyteller will slink into the shadows.

When people think about their local news station, they often think of the weatherman or the anchors, but without the unsung heroes behind the scenes, none of it would be possible.

Showtime!

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