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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Producers

Words of Wisdom

Dear the Future 403 Producers,

I am thrilled that you are taking this class. If you’re anything like me, then you’re nervous and excited all at the same time. And with good reason! You may have never done something that requires almost a 12-hour time commitment. You surely haven’t spent long in ATVN (unless you’re superstar, future EP Kayla Colin). If you’re like me, then you never really watched broadcast news before this class. But hopefully you’re eager to learn and willing to try something new, and, if you are, then 403 will probably be one of the best classes you will take for your Broadcast degree.

 I do have some advice before you embark on this terrible, wonderful learning experience though.

 1. If you have the time, do more at ATVN now! I know that it’s not always up to you. I was assigned as a graphic artist then morning MJ two semesters in a row, even though I wanted to be assignment desk, an afternoon MJ, and a web supervisor. However, that hurt me when I took this class. I was learning how to edit in Avid, do phoners, input a story, use iNews, and so much more while I was also teaching people how to do the same things. As I was telling one of the faculty advisors Bianca, by the time I fully understood how to do everything, the class was over. 

2.  Be open to criticism. If you don’t know how to accept constructive criticism, you will never be able to grow. At the end of your shift, the Executive Producer will provide you with very valuable feedback. I urge you to take that to heart so that you can not only help others in the newsroom, but also just to make yourself a better person. I also urge you to seek out feedback when you’re not required to. The best thing that I did was to ask ATVN-guru John Goldsmith how I could improve during the first few weeks.

3. At the end of the newscast, go home and do something you enjoy. While ATVN can sometimes be a supportive, loving environment, when things go wrong, sometimes tensions get high. Go home. Take a walk. Watch television. If you’re 21, drink a glass of wine. But please, do something that you enjoy. You just spent all day working, and that takes a toll. If you want to be a friendly, positive person, you still need to take care of yourself.

 4. Lastly, please smile. The newsroom can be stressful. Very stressful. MJs will come back with the wrong footage. The sound won’t be working. The Internet will crash. The videos will go offline. There will be miscommunications. Poor decisions. And so much more. But smile! This is a student newsroom after all, and everyone makes mistakes. If you can be a positive person to work with, you can really make a team come together, which is the key to making a great broadcast. After all, you’re learning too.

 So future 403ers. Good luck! I know you’ll learn a lot, not only about producing, but also about yourself and how to be a leader. You’ll make a lot of memories, and I think you’ll remember this class fondly.

 Sincerely,
Theresa 

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