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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Home Improvements

As a golfer, making the turn terrifies me.  The first half of the game is all happy go-lucky. The wind is at my back, the ball is in my court and my follow through on my drives is crisp and precise. I might as well be doing cartwheels on the greens and sashays down the fairways.  Okay fine, maybe I do cartwheel and sashay. 

But without fail, my score always tends to mysteriously pick up a few unwanted strokes on the back nine. Golf isn't as fun.  Cartwheels are tucked away and the sashays are replaced with a grim shuffle back to the clubhouse.

At ATVN, I'm looking for a different approach.  Here, right now in this blog, is my proclamation that the second half of the semester will be leaps and bounds better than the first. And Team Monday is already looking pretty sharp, so I have some high expectations.

As a producer I'm giving myself a little tough-love and forcing myself to really work on perfecting the craft in the next few months. With the hefty job of Executive Producer on the horizon, now more than ever, is the time for me to learn how to be 100% comfortable in the newsroom.  Now is not the time to sit back and relax, this is my opportunity to really improve and learn from my mistakes.  If I'm still making the same mistakes twice at this point, I'm doing something wrong.

As lead producer, I want to be more sure in my decision making.  When someone asks a question in the newsroom, I want to be the first one with the answer.  As Stacy says, when you're lead producer it's almost like you're cooking in your kitchen.  I don't want other people touching my pots and pans, I want to be totally in control.

As the web and graphics supervisor, my goal is to effectively manage my time between the two.  I don't want either to think I love one more than the other, so I need to keep balancing my time accurately throughout the day.  Yes, there is a specific time where I switch over to graphics, but if I don't have anyone working the web, I would like to try and take the responsibility in keeping the web alive.  When I was web producer, the web kind of died.  There's no better way to put it.  I put that on my shoulders.

As video producer, I want to continue to stay on top of things.  Monday's newscast was a little scary because we still had the majority of our videos offline with only about an hour and a half to showtime.  To work on this, I will continue to push my MJ's and work on time management.  Sometimes it's particularly hard because we don't always have enough MJ's for the amount of work coming in, but in that case, I hope that I can switch into the role of an MJ and do some quick writing and editing myself.

My biggest producer goal for the second half of this semester is simply to improve.  I'm a firm believer of practice makes perfect, and as much as I appreciate myself writing my goals down on a piece of paper, it will take me conscientiously working through each goal in live-time and searching for the right answers as I go.  I'd like these goals to not be pushed aside like my New Year's resolution of giving up carbs and Diet Coke.  Let's be real, those two things were never going to exit my life.  But here are a few things I'd like to exit my life as a producer in the coming weeks:

1) Floating a billion stories with five minutes left in the show.  The sports junkie in me cringes to do that to our sports anchor, Evan, who has worked so hard on his stories all day.

2) Having 30+ videos to edit at 4:00 pm. That's a big no-no.

3) Have a botched phoner interview.  I've done a million of them.  Why on Earth do the audio Gods continue to work against me?

I plan to execute all of these goals by doing just that, executing. I will work on staying as alert and attentive as possible.  I will treat every bump in the road as a wonderful learning experience that can only make me better in the future.  In the meantime, maybe I'll do some cartwheels around the newsroom.  Just for kicks, of course.


You really scored a hole-in-one on this one.

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