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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

A Little Bit Goes a Long Way

The saying always goes that "a little bit goes a long way." While this may seem like a contradictory statement in a newsroom, it can be extremely helpful in using it throughout the day. If you wait until the end of the day to try and correct everything, watch footage or fix the rundown, you are going to stress yourself out. Doing it little by little allows you to continuously have the freshest material and the most up-to-date information. 

When I'm the web/graphics teammate, I always make sure to copyedit the material before it goes on the web. I like to sit down with the person who wrote it and go over it with them, so they understand why certain things are changed and how to fix them. Doing this throughout the morning allows for continual progress and a much easier transition into the afternoon. When I'm doing graphics in the afternoon, I like to talk with Jimmy immediately about any difficult or abnormal graphics that he will have to create. Doing this right at the beginning and continuously updating him throughout the afternoon allows the graphics team to make fewer mistakes and gets things done quicker. 

When I'm the video teammate, I always make sure to read the script first, before they go and edit the video. If the script is not perfect, there is no sense in editing the video. Plus, we need to know what the anchor will be saying, so we know what video to match with it. Whenever they are done editing video, I always make sure to watch it and check that there are not any major edits or jump cuts that need to be taken care of. Furthermore, I have the MJ's read it aloud so we see how the video matches what the anchor will be saying at the time. I have noticed that any time I do not do any of those things, the quality is not as good and I regret not taking those extra couple of minutes to check those things. 

When I'm the lead producer, I always like to go through the rundown dozens of times throughout the day, so as to catch the little mistakes that can come up. Doing this a couple of times every hour can prevent old news from getting through and from things getting left out that should be in there. I always try to check in with all of my producers and make sure we are all on the same page. Taking these extra couple of minutes can prevent major mistakes from popping up throughout the rundown. 

It seems simple, but taking the extra time to do these things can really make the newscast better as a whole and of a much higher quality. It's the little things that make a big difference. 

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