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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Micromanagement May Not Be A Bad Idea


People don't like micromanagement because it usually has negative connotation. Closely overseeing and tightly controlling the work of others can be annoying. The biggest lesson I learned from production class, however, is that as a producer, you want to know as much as you can about the content of your show. Micromanagement might be a little bit over - you don't really want to check up with your reporters and MJs every five minutes - but the detail orientation part of micromanagement is crucial for a producer to succeed.

Checking in with teammates, MJs, and reporters is an important part of producer's role. You want to know all the visual and audio elements they have so you can better construct your rundown. Not knowing the best video of a story can be really embarrassing in the rundown meeting. You also want to tell your reporters and MJs what kind of interviews and B-roll you expect them to get. Giving them proper instructions before they set out for their assignments will greatly help you grasp the content of your show.

As a producer, micromanagement also means knowing each line in your rundown and making sure someone is working on it. This is more related to the execution side of producing. Keeping track of ten stories at one time can be both exhausting and frustrating, but it's so important that you know who's writing and editing and what's the progress on each story.

Being a control freak is definitely not graceful in work place, and I used to think that those who micro-manage will not go far in their career. Since I took the production class, my mind has changed a lot; not that micromanaging can improve efficiency or help build a better working environment, but that we usually ignore the positive side of it. Being meticulous and paying attention to details are the only ways to guarantee the quality of the show.

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