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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Speed Is The Word

Working as a web producer for ATVN is a unique experience and one that’s certainly different from the other two producing positions. On the one hand, the workload is not as heavy as, say, the video producer’s, which makes for a less stressful afternoon in the newsroom. But at the same time, in this day and age, websites are the first port of call for people wanting the latest news. That means when a big story breaks and you’re working as the web producer, you’ve got to be on it immediately. If you think you’re going to spend the day relaxing when you’re the web producer, think again. 

This week, I had the pleasure of working as the web producer for the Wednesday team. I normally work on Mondays but due to an upcoming scheduling conflict, had to change my shift. I really enjoyed the experience and it was intriguing to see how different teams grapple with different issues. For example, on Mondays, one of our issues is usually the fact that we have too many reporters and volunteers. (Yes, I know, it’s a good problem to have). Time and again, our reporters have to line up and wait for computers to edit their stories and the newsroom can get pretty chaotic late in the afternoon. It’s the same, too, with the ATVN website. At times when I’ve worked as the web producer on Mondays, I’ve found it incredibly stressful trying to assign stories on slow news days to what feels like a cast of thousands. Yesterday, though, I had the opposite issue to contend with. On a day where breaking news was happening all over the place, I had no reporters to help me write stories for the ATVN website. In total, there were only two reporters assigned to work on the web all day. And so, when the news was breaking, there was nobody left but me to write it. In some ways, doing things myself was easier. But at the same time, when you’re trying to juggle multiple balls in the air - as I had to yesterday - it can definitely be a tough task. 

So what, you ask, is the moral of this story? Working as the web producer is not a chance to put your feet up and relax!

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