I've Got Skills: Broadcast Journalism Instructor vs. ESPN Producer

Find out the similarities between a Broadcast Journalism Instructor and an ESPN Producer.

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My name is Sergeant Rick McNamara. I’m a broadcast journalism instructor at the Defense Information School on Fort Meade (DINFOS). I’m Army Strong, and I’ve got skills. I train soldiers on the very basics of newsgathering, video editing and storytelling. We will teach you how to write, shoot, narrate and edit news elements. My role is to make sure that the Soldiers know how to tell the Army’s story so that we’re putting out the best product for the Soldiers actually on the front lines and risking their lives every day.

McNamara: You guys excited?

I think it’s so important that all of America knows what my brothers and sisters in arms are going through.

My name is Barry Sacks. I’m a Senior Coordinating Producer at ESPN and I’ve got skills.

Sacks: We can do the cutting out of the next break.

I oversee everything we do, from the end of the 6 o’ clock Sportscenter to the beginning of the 11 o’ clock Sportscenter, to keep the sports fan abreast of what’s going on throughout the night. If a news story breaks, we’re the people breaking that to the audience watching the games.

Sacks: What are we looking at here?

The biggest mission every day is to please the sports fan.

Sacks: Hey

Rick McNamara: How are you doing?

Barry Sacks: I’m good Sergeant, how are you doing?

Rick McNamara: Doing excellent.

Barry Sacks: Welcome.

Rick McNamara: Rick McNamara, nice to meet you sir.

Barry Sacks: Barry Sacks, nice to meet you. I appreciate everything you do.

Rick McNamara: Thank you.

Barry Sacks: Meeting the Sergeant was terrific. Tried to show him a day in the life here at ESPN.

This is broadcast control. This is operations center. Every game that’s on television in the country is coming into this room. This is a huge place that is kind of like the Disneyland to the sports fan.

Rick McNamara: Oh, look at all them.

Barry Sacks: This is like my favorite area. All the helmets, jerseys.

Rick McNamara: So now you’re gonna have a man cave it looks like that? Barry took me around and kind of gave me a rundown of what happens within their studio.

Barry Sacks: Alright ESPN halftime is next. We actually saw how all the pieces work together for the communication process and the teamwork that they have to have to make the finished product look good.

Barry Sacks: This is one of the studios.

Rick McNamara: This lighting setup is insane.

Barry Sacks: It’s unbelievable. I think just the overall magnitude of the whole place is the thing that impressed him the most.

Rick McNamara: Barry started introducing me to the talent onstage. It was really great.

Digger Phelps: This is the stage, where we act like we know what we’re talking about.

Rick McNamara: It sounds like it too.

Digger Phelps: And we wing it.

I think he got a really good understanding of what we try and do, how we go about doing it, and how as a group we try and put forth the best television product we can on a daily basis.

This is awesome. I can’t wait to get Barry down to Fort Meade and show them exactly what the Soldiers learn down there. It’s gonna be a great experience. Barry, how are you doing?

Barry Sacks: I’m great Sarge, good to see you. How’s everything?

Rick McNamara: Everything’s great, welcome to DINFOS.

Barry Sacks: Great to be here. Really looking forward to it.

Rick McNamara: I can’t wait to show you all the cool stuff that we do here.

Barry Sacks: Very excited about it, let’s get started.

Rick McNamara: Now that I’m on my home turf, I want to take Barry, show him the classroom and the students. Now this is a lot of fun. I want to show him how we prepare the Soldiers to go out and tell the Army’s story. When you’re framing shots like this, use your macro to actually soften the foreground. It draws the viewer’s attention closer to you.

Barry Sacks: Overall, we’re doing the same things. You’re taking young people who have a wanting to learn a craft, teaching, inspiring and pushing them toward a goal that hopefully they’re going to achieve.

Rick McNamara: So we want to teach them to interact and never be scared to ask questions. We teach them they’re no different than the infantrymen or anybody else out there on those front lines. We expect them to be up there shooting and telling those stories. If they were to drop that camera and pick up that rifle, we’re no longer documenting history. It’s amazing what we expect them to do and what they do.

Barry Sacks: In a very quick period of time. To see what these people in the military do to allow us to have our freedom. You respect the heck out of that.

Rick McNamara: To see his teamwork with the rest of his directors. Barry uses it to tell all the sports enthusiasts about the athletes and the games that are going on every day. Something we teach at the schoolhouse, teaching our students and soldiers how to make that story interesting so we tell the war fighter’s story