Every Monday night the Miami Television News team meets to discuss ideas, edit stories, film and aims to create high-quality content for the Oxford and Miami community.
It takes three weeks to produce a single show. The work of each week is centered around a particular goal: The first week, the team brainstorms story ideas, the second, they edit their work together and the third, they film, edit and broadcast the show on MUTV channel 15 — available to all television plugged into Miami’s cable network. They also upload their show to YouTube on the Miami Television News channel.
The goal of MTN is to provide students with practical experience in the broadcast journalism
Industry, said co-president Mackenzie Rossero.
“I think MTN definitely mimics all the aspects of actually working in the broadcast industry professionally” said co-president Mackenzie Rossero. “We have an amazing studio and very high level equipment that has facilitated the kind of things you would see in the real world.”
MTN’s broadcast covers student organizations, sporting events and student-organized events such as the recent March for Our Lives. They also report on broader-scale news stories such as the opioid epidemic. They look to provide content for the Oxford community in general, not just Miami’s campus.
As an organization open to everyone no matter their level of experience, one of the main challenges MTN faces is the varying skill levels between members.
Co-presidents Margot Austin and Mackenzie Rossero teach incoming students everything they need to know about their broadcast. Together, they teach new members the basics of a news package, how to determine what topics are newsworthy and the technical elements of broadcast such as operating a camera and editing their footage.
“I think Margot and I balance each other well,” said Rossero. “Our leadership styles complement each other and we’ve achieved more success as a team than we would have individually.”
Both Austin and Rossero have taken advanced-level broadcasting classes and are involved in multiple media organizations. Austin hosts a radio show titled “Mornings With Margot” for RedHawk radio. Rossero is co-president of Miami’s chapter of Society of Professional Journalists and writes for The Miami Student.
Austin, a junior broadcast journalism major, has been involved in MTN since the start of her sophomore year. Since becoming president she is now responsible for mentoring the other group members and making sure they produce a high-quality newscast. She also works as an anchor, a reporter and a producer of the show.
The organization has more than doubled in membership since Austin began her time as president at the beginning of the school year. Although Austin said she is excited about the organization’s progress, she still admits that it hasn’t been an easy process, and Austin faces a large amount of responsibility in her role as president.
“Finding a balance between being strict about getting work done but at the same time being approachable is a challenge,” said Austin. “I try to find a balance between the two, so I am the most effective leader I can be.”
Despite the challenge, Austin has a strong passion for broadcast journalism that makes it all worth it.
“I love teaching others and I love broadcast journalism,” said Austin. “MTN combines two of my passions that I am enthusiastic about.”
Austin hopes to start her career as an on-air reporter until she eventually moves her way up to a job as an anchor or talk-show host.
Her counterpart Rossero, a junior journalism, creative writing and English literature triple major, has also been part of MTN since her sophomore year. She joined Austin as her co-president this past semester and has been working alongside her to continue improving the organization.
“Our main goal is to provide a structure for MTN to last after we leave,” said Rossero. “We’re trying to build a foundation for everyone.”
Along with Austin, Rossero has worked to reinvent MTN with the goal of ensuring it is a lasting, reputable organization. Rossero said MTN has improved dramatically since the start of her and Austin’s time as co-presidents.
“If you look at newscasts from the beginning of the semester to now it’s a lot better,” said Rossero. “There are a lot of areas we need to improve, but what we have improved so far is kind of amazing.”
Rossero has a long history as a writer, but is relatively new to the world of broadcast journalism. Discovering a new form of storytelling opened her eyes to what she now said is her ideal career.
“I’ve always loved having the ability to communicate my opinions and thoughts and being able to do that in this new medium was huge for me,” said Rossero. “It gave me a new medium to explore. It was the same thing but a different way to express myself.”
In the future Rossero hopes to work in the broadcast industry either on-air or as a producer.
“I’m just completely enthralled by production and how all of these elements work together to relay messages and to capture people’s lives and show it in a way that goes beyond words on a page,” said Rossero. “That’s super powerful and a huge selling point for broadcast and television in general.”