By Leah P.
On March 15, nine teenage girls took a trip to Universal Studios in Hollywood, California. They were Girl Reporters with the San Gorgonio Council and students from Colton High School with the Classroom To Career program. The group traveled down to NBC4 Southern California’s “Today In LA” studio and met Crystal Egger, who is the morning meteorologist, and Whit Johnson who is the morning news anchor.
Crystal personally took us on a behind-the-scenes tour of the news studio. We saw where they get all the breaking news, the traffic reports, the makeup studio, the producer room, and the news studio. She told us how early reporters wake up. Crystal, in particular, wakes up at 2 am every morning.
When we first walked into the news studio Whit was about to go on air. Once he was finished reporting the latest headlines, we got to walk directly onto the set and talk to him. He told us how he is going to cover the upcoming Summer Olympics in Brazil this year.
In order to give us a better understanding of the path to being a co-anchor for a big network, Whit told us his personal story. He originally wanted to be a sports reporter and that is what led him into the world of broadcast journalism. Early in his career, Whit was an evening weekend reporter up in Yakima, Washington where he began to work his way up to where he is today.
One question that was asked was, “What would help us get to where you are today?”
He said that we definitely have to be willing to move around. Whit said he has moved around at least twelve or more times within his eleven years of being a news anchor. Another thing he told us was that there are different ways to start up your career. Whit said that you can start your career through graduate school or you can start in a small town like he and Crystal did.
After the Q and A session, Crystal taught us how to use the green screen where she does all the weather. Once we had tried out the green screen, it was time for Whit to go live on air again – which was very cool!
Our group also met meteorologist David Biggar who is a background speaker. He told us how he had wanted to be a meteorologist since he was about eight years old. David had started as an intern in Sacramento when he was then put on air because one meteorologist was on a break. He told us how he has won an Emmy for meteorology.
For the last leg of our tour, Crystal guided us outside to check out the new weather van, know as the 4X4 Caster. Crystal and David showed us how it works as a mobile news room.
It was, overall, great fun and a fantastic learning experience for everyone!
A great, BIG “thank you!”
We would like to thank San Bernardino Community College District for “Doing What Matters” by continuing to support the Girl Reporter program; Bank Of America for their generous support of Classroom To Career and NBC4 for hosting this amazing experience.