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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Producers

Adding Value

My friend, who is not a journalism student, and I were discussing what would make a newscast valuable, and he said, “That’s easy. You just give the people what they want.”

While I think that may be partially true, value has a deeper meaning, particularly in news, besides just giving people what they want to hear.

If ATVN just did stories that USC students thought they wanted to know about, I feel as if we would no longer be a hard news station.

In fact, it seems college students are reading less hard news than previous generations. For example, just today a friend of mine was surprised to learn that tensions have escalated between North Korea and the U.S.

It is probably without explanation then that I don’t entirely agree with my friend’s definition of value. I believe it is ATVN’s role, and the role of journalism as a whole, to inform USC students of local, national, and international issues that are relevant to them.

Consequently, I prefer Merriam-Webster’s definition of value: a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged.

Therefore, to make ATVN valuable to USC students, it needs to be worth their time – whether they watch the broadcast or read a story online. And that is where I think the two definitions meet.

While ATVN should not have to create a show of gossip stories to make it valuable to the USC community, it can be valuable by making hard news easily accessible to college students.

ATVN is unique because it does reach out to students on Twitter and Facebook. We also work hard to publish stories immediately to the web and put videos online, not just of the newscasts but also of extra content.

I believe that the content online may actually be MORE valuable to USC students simply because, according to a PEW Research Study titled “In the Changing News Landscape, Even Television Is Vulnerable,” 60% of people under the age of 25 get their news digitally with the other 40% getting their news from all traditional outlets combined.

As a result of this trend, the way I can best add value to ATVN is by being an excellent Web Producer.

I sometimes struggle with getting things up on the web because I find myself rushing to get graphics finished first. However, the Web Producer probably serves the most crucial role when it comes to blasting out stories that USC students should know and read about.

In order to do my part to increase the value of ATVN, I need to aim to get more stories published to the web.

This week we had a lot of breaking news, and Layne graciously stayed to help out, so we were able to get a lot stories online. However, even on slower news days, I need to really push to get more stories with more content online to benefit the ATVN audience.  

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