Skip navigation
Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Darren Zulberti

Class of 2003, Bachelor's

Formerly a producer at WXII 12 News (NBC) (Market 46).  My biggest struggle at WXII was more perceived than anything else. I worried about successfully covering a community I knew little about, much less understood culturally. But I learned quickly that some topics are important in any market: education, crime, growth and unemployment, for example. So with that as a foundation, I read a lot, talk to people and am learning slowly what stories people here really care about. Who knows what’s next. I’m torn between living in a new city in the east and returning to the west. But I know I want to produce in a major market before becoming a manager.


What are the top three skills journalism students should learn in college?:

(1) Learn how to write - Far too many people don’t know how to write. (2) Learn how to ask questions - Some experienced reporters miss basic, but important questions by over-complicating interviews. (3) Learn how to listen to the answers - Your best questions will come from your interview subject.

What were your duties at ATVN? :

Executive producer, producer, writer

How did ATVN prepare you for your career?:

Learning to write quickly and working in a fast-paced environment prepared me for the high level of breaking news we do. And some of the ethical questions that came up at ATVN, though on a smaller scale, prepared me for making tough decisions on deadline and with limited information. ATVN also prepared me to work with a diverse group of coworkers, from anchors and reporters, to other producers and crew members.

List any additional major(s) or minor(s) you had at USC. What impact have they had on your career?:

Journalism classes provided the foundation for knowing how to think like a journalist. ATVN provided the practical experience of covering stories, working with others and dealing with problems.

What is your advice to aspiring journalists?:

Read everything you can: magazines, books and different newspapers. All of it will give you context for writing better stories and asking better questions when there’s a sudden interview or breaking news situation.

What should graduates keep in mind when negotiating their first job?:

Don’t undersell yourself. You have an excellent education and more hands-on experience than many other job applicants. Be confidant about and sell what you know, don’t volunteer details about what you don’t know, and promise you’ll learn quickly.

Twitter Feed