All this week on 9NEWS at 6 a.m., we're taking our viewers behind the scenes to show you how the newsroom operates.
Three decades ago, in 1988, 9NEWS anchor Gary Shapiro produced a series of stories taking viewers behind the scenes to show how we get the news on the air each day.
A lot has changed during that time. One of the biggest things is how we decide what stories to cover for our newscasts, website, and social media pages.
Each morning starts with an editorial meeting at 9 a.m. Reporters, producers, assignment editors, photographers, digital producers and other staff gather to discuss story possibilities. Some choices are obvious based on the events of the day, but many ideas come from our viewers via email and social media.
In 1988, just a handful of people sat down and made their best guess as to what viewers wanted to see. Today, anyone who wants to stop by and offer a story idea is welcome at the morning meeting, which is standing room only,-- literally. Meeting attendees -- usually 10 to 15 people -- stand in an effort to keep the meeting focused.
9NEWS Director Christy Moreno said there’s a full-blown discussion, often based on viewer feedback.
“We are all pitching stories, having conversations, having debates even, early, early, early in the morning,” Moreno said.
She said she hears all the time from conspiracy theorists who think we have a liberal or conservative agenda. But in reality, story decisions are made by all kinds of people, with all kinds of backgrounds.
“We can’t decide which pizza toppings to get if we’re going to have a lunch meeting," Moreno said. “There’s no way you can have an entire newsroom that all agrees politically, it’s just not possible.”
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Another big change in the newsroom is innovation. Stations across the country, including 9NEWS, are trying to keep up with the changing times.
Linda Kotsaftis is the director of innovative content at 9NEWS.
“The innovative project that I think most people in our audience have seen and responded to is our show NEXT at 6 o'clock," Kotsaftis said. "We made a decision as a station to look at our newscasts and say, 'Why are we doing the same things all the time?'"
NEXT, along with all our newscasts, are constantly evolving as we try to better serve the needs of our viewers. That's whether they're watching on TV, online or on their mobile devices.
While a lot has changed, our goal is still to inform, educate and entertain our viewers.