The Importance of News Judgment
As the lead producer this week, it was my job to decide what stories to include in our newscast. Two of the things I kept in mind were the elements that made the story important and the elements that made the story interesting.
The most important stories in our newscast were the ones that people were most concerned about. I constantly had to ask myself, "what stories are the ones that people are paying most attention to?" and "what do our viewers really want to see?" It's also important to understand what type of impact a particular story has had or will have on people. If it's a story that will affect a great amount of people, we want to make sure we include it in our newscast.
We also want our stories to be interesting to our viewers. Enhancing our stories with great sound is one way to make a story more interesting. In our story about a Downtown L.A. rally for Trayvon Martin, it was important to include sound from both the protesters and the organizers of the protest. Only they can convey the emotions that they are feeling and the reasoning behind the protest. Nobody can say it better than they can.
Another way to make a story more interesting is to include exciting video. In that same Trayvon Martin story we covered, it was important to show the protesters gathering and let the viewers read the signs they were holding. Our viewers want to see what's going on and feel like they're there, not just merely hear it from the anchor.
Over the past few months, I've found that editorial decisions like these are not only made by the lead producer, but by the video and web/graphics teammates as well. Having good news judgment is something you need to have because the success of your newscast depends on it.