Hutti grew up in North St. Louis county and loved weather since she was a little kid. She is one of the people who always knew what they wanted to do and therefore she started her career as a meteorologist with pursuing a degree in geography, specializing in meteorology from Western Illinois University, where she “received a wonderful hands-on education”. After graduating in 2003, she got her first job in 2004 as a meteorologist for a TV station in Alaska. Even though she did not necessarily planned on going into TV broadcasting and the fact that her new job involved reporting, she began to enjoy it and grow with the new challenges. “It pushed me into a lot of opportunities,” she said.
Are we willing to learn new things?
According to Hutti, we need to be, because “next things are coming around so fast.” Hutti started working at Fox 2 in 2006. She started with reporting and helping to build up the channel’s website. She said she did not have a lot of background in coding or web site developing skills, but was willing to learn new skills and to work herself into it.
She said that she is now still working with the website, but not as much anymore. She gets to do more weather and more shows, which is what she prefers. “I do get to write, which is fun.” She said. “I still report once in a while, but not as much anymore.”
Being a meteorologist, Hutti’s work of course includes weather forecasts for the St. Louis area. She has done one over the summer about upcoming storms. Another sample of Hutti’s work can be seen in one article that she recently wrote and moderated on TV is about recent book releases in the arts pop section. She has done a lot more articles for the arts pop section of Fox 2. A story about traffic delays that she has done this June shows how diverse her work can be.
The development of the industry
TV broadcast meteorology has become a long way, said Hutti. It is now much more science involved and one has to have a degree in order to work in the industry. However, the news industry in general has become much more related on the internet. “It is just huge what has happened on the web in the past 10 years,” she said.
Hutti also explained what she thinks will happen to the industry in the future.
Being asked about social media, Hutti said that Twitter is by far her favorite. “Twitter is now,” she said. “Twitter can also be everything. I can be an adventurous person that likes to do stuff, or I can post recent updates or bad weather warnings.” Facebook is different though, she said. It is more for the big picture and content that lasts longer. “They also don’t like if you post that much on there,” she said.
Things that I have learned:
- The use of hashtags is critical when tweeting, because it enables the audience to follow up with trends. If you don’t have a hashtag, create one.
- Keep up with your writing skills and use proper form on writing. Creative and effective writing are the most important writing skills to possess, and a combination of the two will work best for most stories. An article on mediashift.org emphasized the importance of writing skills for journalists very well.
- Short and sweet videos is what people want these days. Reading appears to be boring for most people, they like to see things and one picture is not enough anymore. 1-minute videolicious videos, for instance, are just right.
- Save some parts of the story to release later and use them to tease the audience. If there is enough time, only give away the basics when first reporting on a story, but then let the story develop and follow up with a different angle later on.
- Distinguish between writing TV broadcasts and web scripts, since they differ from each other a lot. You should be aware of changes between those two. Sometimes these might just be punctuation changes, sometimes it means taking out commands such as “as you can see behind me” when transitioning from broadcast writing to a web script.
- And finally, links are key. Linking back to other articles and resources is critical so people can get more information on the topic and are able to relate to it. When when tweeting, links to other resources can be inserted into the tweet. This article on skyword explains the use of links very well.
All those lessons relate to what we learn and do in class. Following Hutti’s advice will lead to a more effective usage of social media, especially Twitter, and to a more successful reporting style. Especially for the upcoming online stories, we aim for advanced reporting, and following these tips can truly help.
Having all that said, I would like to end this post with one final and, in my opinion, very relevant advice that Hutti gave us. “Know a little about a lot,” she said, and meant to emphasize the importance of a broad general knowledge in any area possible. “You never know what role it’s going to play and where you will end up,” she said. “Just be informed.”