I really enjoyed our last field trip to the Detroit Free Press and Channel 4 news. My first takeaway from the field trip was just how personality played into each role of the newsroom. The editor had a strong persona, and a demeanor that showed he was in charge. He spoke loudly and knowledgeably about the majority of what he said. Each person in charge of a specific section of news were agreeable, social people. The woman running the meeting at the beginning had a serious demeanor, as leading the meeting demanded they stay organized and on task. When we met the investigative reporters who worked in the back of the Detroit Free Press, their personalities were more introverted and less sociable, at least judging from their speaking voice, ability to look each member of our group in the eyes, and their location in the back of the office. This demonstrated to me how the personality of each member of a news team shapes their role. Each position promotes the individual to develop certain traits, and it was very apparent to me each person was in the place where their personality fit best.
The second takeaway I had from the trip was how much the news is dictated by statistics. Engagement time, page views and other metrics lets the company know which stories are doing the best, for how long, and which direction they are trending. After a while, does news reporting become a formula, with no room for creativity? Who dictates that formula? As the news moves into the future, these are questions on my mind from the trip.