ON THE AIR: Behind the Scenes at a TV Newscast by Esther Hautzig

ON THE AIR: Behind the Scenes at a TV Newscast

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Lucid and detailed, a survey of the many people, responsibilities, and tasks involved in TV production. Focusing on station WRGB-TV in Schenectady, N.Y. (successor to W2XB, home of the country's first TV news in 1928), this mother-son team profiles the people who hold key jobs and tracks the complex production process, including policy decisions, how last-minute news is inserted into the tight schedule, and such nitty-gritty tasks as sorting out the multicolored copies of each story (done ""by whoever has time to lend a hand""). Though comments about the effect of what's chosen to air are beyond the book's scope, there are a few hints of larger motives behind inclusions: e.g., a story about an abused kitten, questioned by viewers, is later justified by the newscasters: ""We want the public to know that people who can do what they did to this kitten may do it to human beings as well."" The crisp b&w photos suggest the nonstop pace, the variety of participants, and the intricacy of the technology. An attractive, sturdily informative presentation.

Pub Date: Dec. 2nd, 1991
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Macmillan