Take Charge, Be a Leader
This semester has undoubtedly been a learning experience. From the time we started class in January, to now, I feel as though I have learned not only how to become a better television news producer, but a better leader, and a better multitasker.
To all of next year's Annenberg TV News producers, I want to encourage you to set your standards high. While jumping into your first week as the leader of the entire news room is utterly frightening, use your time at ATVN taking risks and further developing your skills.
Playing it safe may seem like a great idea when considering the end result of your newscast and how smoothly it will run. However, risks result in rewards.
When I decided to use the chromakey and do a live shot in my show as lead producer, it aired flawlessly. The feeling of accomplishment after taking risks is far greater than producing a show that doesn't satisfy your full potential as a producer.
Another piece of advice is to never underestimate the power of communication. Communication between your fellow producers, your MJs, graphics artists, web team, and studio staff is so important.
The newsroom and studio both get hectic at times, but you can't forget to communicate your specific wants and needs to those working with you or problems may arise.
Always check up on your MJs throughout their shifts to make sure they understand their assignments, and are producing their work to the quality you desire. If they're writing seems to be a bit off, help them out by copy editing the story together and showing them where the problems are.
As a producer, you truly are the leader of the newsroom. The younger ATVN staff members look to you for guidance just as they would a professor.
Everyone makes mistakes, but the beauty is that we learn from these mistakes if they are addressed properly, so act as a mentor to your younger staff members, and always encourage them to produce their best work.
My time as a producer at ATVN for J403 was an experience unmatched by any other class USC has to offer. It taught me how to deal with real life problems in the workspace, think on my feet, work together, and to never be afraid to take the reigns.
Looking back at how nervous I was at the beginning of the semester to lead a newscast, and how far I've come, I would recommend this class to every student at USC, journalism major or not.
That's not to say there aren't early mornings, stressful situations, and a hefty amount of work, but every second of my experience was worth it.