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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

ALUMNI

James Koh

Class of 2008, Master's



Twitter: @JamesDKoh
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/jameskoh.gobears

James Koh is a general assignment reporter and weekend sports anchor for Studio 11 LA at 5pm, the FOX 11 News At 10pm and the 11pm newscast on KCOP. James joined KTTV in March 2012.

An Emmy-award winning journalist, Koh joins FOX 11 from affiliate station KSWB FOX 5 in San Diego, where he was a multimedia journalist. Before that, he was a reporter and fill-in anchor at KBAK Bakersfield, California.

A four-time Emmy winner, Koh has also won an Edward R. Murrow award, a Golden Mike award as well as being honored with an Associated Press Reporter of the Year award.

Koh holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Legal Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Arts in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Southern California, Annenberg School of Communication.

Survey

Where did you work before, and what jobs did you do?:

I started my career as a do-everything radio personality in Montana and Bishop, Calif.

I did sports play-by-play, news reporting and even served as a country music deejay!

After graduate school at USC, I went to Bakersfield and then San Diego. 

In both markets I was a multimedia journalist meaning I had to shoot my own video, write my scripts and edit my stories myself.

I am currently in Los Angeles serving as a weekend sports anchor, weekday general assignment reporter with a focus on sports and breaking news and I host Cage Talk, LA's only local mixed martial arts show.



What new skills do you think journalists need? :

If you want to work in TV you have to learn how to shoot and edit. 

It's important for a number of reasons, including the fact that it protects you from ever being out of work.

It also protects you from lazy, jaded, unprofessional photographers that you will find in EVERY market regardless of how high you go up.

If you are depending on someone else to shoot good video for you, more often than not you will be massively disappointed.

You can be the best looking, most skilled story teller in the world but if your video is crap your tape will be subpar. 

Good video and good editing will mask a great deal of these deficiencies and equip you with the content and skills to create a good tape... which is essential in finding a job and moving up markets.



What were your duties at ATVN? :

Sports Anchor



How did ATVN prepare you for your career?:

ATVN really gives you a good sense of what a working newsroom is like minus the politics of course! 

Using iNews, editing, writing on deadline, working with producers to talk about content... it's all very much like working in a professional news room. 

And Serena is about as knowledgeable and professional as they come, there's no better mentor in a collegiate setting as far as I'm concerned.



What should graduates keep in mind when negotiating their first job?:

If you are looking for an on-air position, there is not much negotiating nowadays.  They offer a salary and you pretty much take it or leave it.

There is a negotiation you have to make with yourself though because the vast marjority of those looking for their first reporting job will have to either pick your location or your job function. 

99.9999 percent of you won't be able to choose both meaning, if you want to work in San Diego, don't expect to be in an on-air position. 

But knowing that, never, never, never take a job that offers you neither. 

If you want to be on air, don't take the producer job in small-town Nebraska. 

Pick your location or your job title. You probably won't get both, but definitely at least get one.