A Day in the Life: Ron Allen

I used the article, “Body found inside suitcase on side of road is missing New York woman”, by Ron Allen and David K. Li to research online news articles for my first experiment.  Ron Allen is a journalist for NBCUniversal and has a large online presence on the NBC website. Because he is a contracted journalist with NBCUniversal, he receives payment from this company for completing news articles, and in his case, he is also featured on television on the Today show and NBC Nightly News.

Because he is a contracted journalist, he cannot write about whatever he wants.  He would be assigned a task by his boss and he would then be responsible for creating the content that NBC wants to be on their online platform. Ron Allen is a fairly senior journalist at NBC so he would be tasked with more high profile stories or stories that relate to what he is presenting on television. For example, Ron Allen was involved in creating content related to the Arab Spring conflict, which was a very complex issue that concerned all Americans.

Furthermore, because he is a senior journalist, a lot of his research is done on site by interviewing those who are directly experiencing the events he is publishing about. He covered the historic 2008 election when Barack Obama was elected and was in Chicago the night he won the election.  This experience enabled him to see the pride the people of Chicago had for the next president of the United States, who is one of their own. The research experience that NBC provides him (flying him to sites, providing security, providing lodging, etc) enhances his credibility as a reporter and he can provide a unique perspective to his audience.  He is performing an elite type of research due to the funding his company provides him.

Although Allen is clearly a very established journalist, he cannot simply write something and have it immediately published. Even when he is on air, there is a script he must follow when reporting.  But when writing, he must take the task his boss wants him to write about, create a draft, continue editing the draft, and when he thinks it is ready, he will send it to his editor to have it looked at. He will then work with the editor to get the article to the final stage and ready to publish. Because he is a more senior journalist, he most likely gets more creative freedom than a more junior writer.  

Leave a Reply