NEWS LITERACY WEEK: How we develop stories at 7 Eyewitness News

Posted at 8:41 AM, Jan 26, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — As part of our effort to increase news literacy, we're showing you how we try to make Western New York better, through independent journalism, free of bias, produced with multiple points of view and verified facts.

The stories you see on TV -- or on our digital platforms -- don't just put themselves together. It's actually quite the process for our journalists. They are researching, vetting and producing content. It begins with a meeting of the minds.

Every morning our reporters, anchors, producers and news managers gather. We discuss story ideas for the day ahead. These ideas are pitched by reporters, tips sent in by viewers, or scheduled events that allow us to go in depth with a certain topic.

Each of these reporters leaves the meeting with a story to tackle.

They are responsible for tracking down the key people, finding multiple sources, asking questions that warrant attention on both sides of an issue and framing stories with context, using documentation and verification to ensure accuracy.

Reporters are always working to find the impact of a story. In other words, what this means for you.

This is done every single day, with each reporter shooting their own stories, writing and editing all to be on TV by 5, 6, 7 or 11 p.m.

The editorial process doesn't just stop at the end of the day. It continues well into the early morning hours.

Our producers come in the night before at 9 or 10 p.m., looking for breaking news or informational updates to make sure you have the most accurate and up to date information the next morning.

Producers fill the rundown -- similar to a spreadsheet -- with a variety of stories, working to strike a balance in voices. Producers do the same fact checking, with documentation and sourcing, all before heading into the control room. That's the communication center, where producers communicate with reporters in the field and the anchors in the studio.

They also communicate with the show director, who takes the whole thing, making it come to life on your TV.

It's a team effort that requires attention to detail, careful word choice and fairness to all.