NewsNet: Behind the scenes

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The nation”s first converged newsroom won”t be found in Los Angeles or New York. It”s found in Provo, Utah — on the campus of BYU.

NewsNet is the nation”s first converged newsroom. It”s a combination of print and broadcast journalism, internet and radio.

It all started in 1996 when The Daily Universe, KBYU News, CCN News, FM Radio News and the NewsNet Web site merged into the largest news gathering agency, save the L.A. Times, west of the Mississippi.

With over 80 reporters, lots of computers, and a whole bunch of other stuff, NewsNet is running non-stop. The award winning program teaches communications students about journalism, advertising, public relations and a variety of other subjects.

The newsroom is different things to different people.

“I”ve worked in the newsroom in other positions, and being on the Web desk is the capstone of being here,” said Web editor Ali Anderson.

Anderson, 21 a senior from Farmington, Davis County majoring in print journalism, said by working on the Internet site, she gets to see everything come together and catch the vision of NewsNet.

“I think the Web desk is the symbol of [convergance] up here. There are space limitations in the newspaper and time limitations on the broadcasts, but the Web unlimited — you can do anything,” she said.

The newsroom was packed on Election Day in November 2000, when NewsNet worked together to provide a live Web cast all night long of the local and national elections. Reporters and editors were sent to political party headquarters in Salt Lake City to ensure complete coverage of the events for the newspaper as well.

Angie Bergstrom, 21, a senior from Sugar City Idaho, majoring in print journalism, was the night editor for The Daily Universe then. She said it was fun to cover a national event in such a professional way.

“It was a thrill to see real journalism at work, to see all areas of the media working together to cover one event,” Bergstrom said. “It was one of the capstone experiences of my college journalistic career.”

Tiffany Lewis, 21, a senior from Austin, Texas, majoring in print journalism, said she enjoys the unity in the newsroom.

“It”s not one person pitted against another, because we”re all putting together a final product,” she said. “You don”t have the competition of one editor versus another, or one reporter versus another because the important thing is the outcome of the entire newspaper. It”s a community effort.”

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