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Behind the Scenes at Chronicle on Channel 5

by Matt Ristaino
August 1, 2017

Have you ever wondered what goes into making award winning TV journalism? This summer, I’ve had the opportunity to go behind the scenes and see how the pros do it through an internship with Chronicle at WCVB Channel 5.

For those of you who don’t know, Chronicle is a nightly “news magazine”. Every weeknight at 7:30, Chronicle treats its viewers to an in depth profile of a specific news topic, travel destinations, or new attractions. Its most popular episodes are the Main Streets and Back Roads, which profiles a smaller, lesser known town in New England.

Chronicle has been on the air for over 35 years, and is hosted by Anthony Everett and Shayna Seymour. But behind the talented on air talent, there is a whole team dedicated to putting together a quality show, night in and night out.

So how exactly does each show get made? First, one of the show's many producers comes up with an idea, either for a single five minute segment or an entire half hour show. Once the idea for the show gets approved, the producer then has to find and organize places to film and people to interview.

Filming on location in Dartmouth, MA

Filming on location is a team effort. The producers are always accompanied by a photographer, who works with the producer to get the best possible visuals. Sometimes, one of the reporters or anchors that you see on the show comes along to do interviews and be on camera. Occasionally, the reporters and anchors will serve as the producer for a segment or show.

Once all the filming and interviews are done, the producer comes back to the office to write the script for the show and decide which pieces of the interviews to use. When the script is finished, it is given to one of the reporters or anchors to record the voice-over.

Shayna Seymour filming a recent episode of Chronicle

After that, it’s off to the edit room to put the whole thing together. The producer works with an editor to decide which visuals to use, what effects to add in, and what music goes along well with the piece. Editing takes a long time; one five minute segment can take an entire day to complete. An entire show will take most of a week to put together.

A look at the editing room

After adding in some graphics and the opening montage, the show is finally ready to go to air. Chronicle is taped live every night, and much of the “chit-chat” from the anchors between the segments is unscripted. Once the show is finished, it’s time to move on to the next one. From beginning to end, the process of getting a show ready to air can take as long as a month.

As an intern, I’ve been able to go out on filming shoots, sit in on editing sessions, and be there for the taping of the show. Everyone who works on the show has been incredibly helpful and willing to explain what they are thinking and doing throughout the entire process. It’s been a fantastic experience to work alongside some of the most talented people in the industry for an entire summer. 


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Comments (3)

Great description, Matt. I can feel your enjoyment of this wonderful summer internship. Chronicle is my 7:30 show.

- Anne Tobin | 8/3/17 2:24 PM

Thanks for your insight. Long time Chronicle fan!

- Cami | 7/31/17 1:53 PM

Thanks for the great inside view of Chronicle, Matt. It is one of my favorite shows.

- Bob Ostrow | 7/31/17 6:31 AM



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