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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Producers

All About the Details

I can’t believe this semester is already half way done. As we reach the mid-way point, it’s time for me to stop and reflect upon what I’ve been doing well and what I can improve upon.

Over the past few weeks, I have definitely improved as a write, leader, and producer. I think I’ve done a good job so far putting the stories in order of their importance, learning all the ins and outs of iNews, and picking story ideas; however, there is one area that I most need to improve upon – adding the details.

I’ve heard it time and time again; it’s the details that make the stories, which I’m now learning is completely true. The details are sometimes what make or break a story in the newscast. Often times, the smaller points are what the audience remembers most, and they also help to create an engaging tease.

One way I can go about adding the details is reading beyond the headlines. We live in the digital age, where reading just the first graph or two of a story is the norm; however, this simplification of the news becomes apparent when writing stories for the web or the newscast. If I want to add flavors to my news stories, I need to find the interesting details that people will remember.

If I can do that, then the stories will be more complete. I will be able to add more elements, like maps or SOTs, which expand the story. Even for the web, the more I know about a story, the more I can draw upon other sources to add some flavor.

Another way to use the details to enhance our broadcast stories is to find ways to connect them to our audience, USC students. For instance, the last time I was lead I chose to lead with a story about the Las Vegas shooter being caught in Hollywood. I wanted to make sure we had a map that showed how far USC was from where the shooter was caught so that students have an idea how relevant this news is to them.

I believe that the more I can connect the details to the audience, the more they will feel engaged with the show. Now, all I must do is read beyond the headlines of stories so I can tell the news in an interesting and relevant way going forward this semester. 

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