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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Lights, Camera, Live!

Live shots are the golden nugget of television news these days!  Everyone does them and they add so much life to an otherwise less interesting set of stories.  Imagine if you could only learn about stories from an anchor sitting behind a desk.  While there is quite a bit of power in reporting the news through that method, live shots bring energy and personalization to a story.  We reported live Wednesday from the street carnival sponsored by the Department of Public Safety on Hoover near campus.  The live shot turned out great!  One piece of advice that I’d give for the future live shots at ATVN regards the time delay.  In the studio, be sure to communicate the time delay to both the Streambox operator as well as the live shot reporter and be sure to cue the reporter early enough.  As a live shot reporter last semester outside of the House of Blues when President Obama was visiting, I’ve learned that you are very reliant on the studio to tell you when to talk and it is quite awkward to stand there smiling for a while if you are not cued. 

In terms of stories to use for live shots, my two possible ideas for Wednesday’s show included fronting a documentary screening on campus.  This event could have been useful if we conducted the live shot next to attendees waiting in line.  We could have even interviewed one person live looking forward to watching the documentary.  While live interviews are risky, they give added incentive for people to go out to the event that night and it adds even further life to know that there are people that care about that specific event.  When contemplating live shot possibilities, consider the setting and the opportunity for the reporter to show an idea, concept or happening that is visually stimulating for the viewers.  Reporting from the ATVN blog, this is Jillian Angeline signing off.

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