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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

My Final Thoughts on Producing

My journey as the Tuesday ATVN producer is finally over. The experience on the job was worthwhile and challenging all at the same time, much like the actual college experience.

Looking back on my experience, I would argue that you can’t underestimate the value of communication. We as producers really need to stress the importance of being on the same page: almost on a 24-7 basis. That mindset takes form probably as early as the second following the previous show. Please, please, please believe when I say that teamwork means everything. 

I remember reading these exact blogs from the previous semester and I’d love to share a few pointers that could help the next group of leaders in the newsroom, which you will all become. But first I have to extend a special note for my fellow producer Jillian Olivas and executive producer Rachel Scott for being awesome at their jobs. 

#1 Be Willing To Take Risks

There is nothing more toxic in the newsroom than the grouch that makes the experience annoying. Please relax, take a deep breath and realize that mistakes are going to happen, even if you think everything is accounted for in the rundown. We are in a brand new building filled with fancy toys and fun gadgets, but all those great advancements come with a sharp learning curve along the way. So with that, be positive and be willing to try out different tools that we now have at our disposal. This place is awesome, go ahead and let people learn. 

#2 Have Fun, Please Have Fun

You are going to spend 12 hours a week in the ATVN Newsroom for an entire semester, better spend some time actually getting to know your teammates. I’m not saying like an extensive amount of knowledge, but understand what each person likes and how you can relate to them. Trust me here the more people enjoy coming to the newsroom, the more they will be willing to help you. Take time out the day to ask how people are doing and genuinely show interest, it will allow you to make some more friends and then it won’t always feel like such tough work.

#3 Trust People But Don’t Always Trust Them

This is such a difficult fine line to balance, but you have to be willing to extend a certain level of trust. You will make the final call on a variety of things during the semester, so many more than you think what the syllabus actually says. But I warn everyone out there that you also have to be willing to dish out roles to other people, and learn to accept failure as a step in the growth process. When crunch time comes, you will get a better sense of what I'm talking about. 

#4 Finally, Trust The Process

I tried to break away from the traditional mold at first, but the best way to succeed in this place is to stay disciplined and follow a solid structure. Both Stacy and Rebecca do an excellent job of pointing out the areas you need to improve upon, but I honestly feel their comments come from good intentions. I’m a competitive person, and I really appreciate when people in the newsroom were objectively critical of my work. That’s what everyone at ATVN wants, and I just say be willing to learn because the experience will be well worth your while.

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