Making the News Relevant
Each Thursday, I try to come into the newsroom for my producing shift as prepared as possible.
The night before our show, I spend a few hours watching local newscasts, reading local and national news publications and going through the ATVN shows produced throughout the week. With all of this information, I try to predict what the biggest and most important stories will be for our newscast the next day. But what seems like a top news story the night before our show might actually not be important or complex enough for our 6p.m. newscast.
The questions I always ask myself when deciding the priority of a story are: 1) What about this story makes it relevant today? 2) Why is it important that our audience sees this story?
Those are two questions I had to repeatedly ask myself as video producer this week.
For example, the first of the presidential debates was on Wednesday night. We needed to discuss the debate on Thursday but in a way that it was relevant to our audience and newsworthy. So I asked myself: What does our student audience want to know the day after the debate? After discussing the story at length with our other producers, we decided to split the story up in two parts: the student reaction and the social media component of the debate in Denver. The way that we covered the story didn't make the debate feel like old news.
Once the angle of a story is established, the next and most important part of the story development is getting good video and sound. Before each multimedia journalist and reporter goes out to shoot, as the video teammate, I explain what kind of video and sound would be of value for each piece.
This week, one of our reporters, Vicki Chen, did an incredible job capturing the emotions of a Walmart strike through great sound bites and visuals. Without those two components, the story would not have had as great of an impact as it did on our audience.
At the end of the day, one of the most gratifying parts of producing is watching a story start as a simple idea and then develop into a complex, well-written and compelling story in our newscast.