You arrive at the office with your grande skinny vanilla latte and a backpack full of granola bars. From the moment you sit down and turn on your monitor, you know that you’ll barely have a break to run to the bathroom, let alone stop for snacks. (Also, the strange hours you keep mean that the rest of the world might not be on the same schedule as you when it comes to eating and sleeping.)
As you rush to catch the latest breaking stories, you immediately begin drafting articles, fact-checking, and publishing them as fast as you can. Yep, your job is full-on—but you wouldn’t have it any other way.
We caught up with Candice Naranjo, Web Producer at KRON 4 News to learn about what it’s like to work in an industry that never sleeps.
Where did you go to school and what did you study?
What is your current company name and job title? If you’ve changed titles since you started at your company, what was your job title when you started?
When I was hired at KRON 4 News I started as an Associate Producer for KRON’s 24/7 channel, but I would also fill in at the Assignment Desk as an Assistant Assignment Editor. I currently work for KRON 4 News as a Web Producer.
What’s a typical day on the job like for you?
A typical day at my job is spent at the computer posting stories. The second I walk in I check Twitter and my work email. This gives me a quick idea of what’s going on, if there is anything breaking, or any trending stories of the day. Next, I browse through our site to get an idea of what stories we already have online and what’s missing. Then I get to work. I start posting stories on our site, Facebook, and Twitter (and other social media sites if applicable). I continuously monitor Twitter and Facebook as well as the news wires for new stories.
I spend about 5 minutes with a story and post nearly 20 stories a day. Time for each story varies though, as some stories are more complex or still developing. It also depends on what’s happening that day and what our online audience is responding to. The day can move pretty fast because I try to stay on top of what’s going on. News moves fast and I don’t want to miss something that could be a big story.
What are your favorite aspects of your job? What are some challenging aspects of it?
A few things I like about my job are that it’s constantly in motion and there is rarely a dull moment. It’s fun to see how people react to stories and the social media aspect of it can be very entertaining.
On the flip side, there are several challenging aspects. The audience can be unforgiving. For example, if you get a fact wrong or misspell a word, they will let you know. You need to have thick skin in news and understand that you won’t get everything right.
There are moments of intense pressure, especially when things are breaking, so that can definitely be a challenge. I just try to stay calm and focused and not worry about the noise around me.
What did you study in college? How does your major relate to your current position?
I studied Communication and Multimedia Communications. If anything has helped me in the workforce, it has been my Master’s Degree in Multimedia Communications. In school I was able to learn the different aspects of creating content for television and online platforms, such as shooting, editing, writing, social media, and producing. It helped me get my foot in the door and gave me a general idea of how news is made.
As I mentioned earlier, when I first started at KRON I started working for their 24/7 digital channel. I was also filling in for the assignment desk. At the time I didn’t exactly know what I wanted to do, but I continued to accept the different fill-in positions needed. Eventually they needed someone to fill in for one of the Web Producers and I agreed. I never imagined myself doing web, but I quickly realized it was my favorite job at KRON. My advice is to try different things and make yourself available. You never know what you might end up liking.
What advice would you give to college students who are interested in working in your field?
Build good relationships with your classmates and teachers. They could have connections or recommendations to help you find a job. I also recommend studying and developing the skills you will need to do the job. If you want to produce, be on camera, or do web, you need to have a basic skill set.
What type of education, qualifications, or skills are needed to be successful in your field?
If you can write, edit, shoot, and know how to use social media or any other related platform, you can be successful. My Multimedia Communications degree helped me very much.
Does your company hire interns in your field? If so, how would someone go about applying?
Yes, we do hire interns. You can apply on KRON4.com, but you should also check with your school for requirements.
What is something people might find surprising or unexpected about your job?
People are always shocked about the hours I work. We have crazy hours, early mornings, weekends, holidays, you name it… The news never stops.
Homework time! Candice mentions the importance of building relationships with your professors. Make some time to talk to a few professors about your career path and ambitions. Even if you don’t know what you want to do yet, they may be able to give you some good suggestions or put you in touch with past students who are currently doing something interesting.