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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Patrick Becker

Class of 2008, Bachelor's

I rep ATVN from the 559 now at the ABC O&O in Fresno.  I produce the 11pm show during the week, which means I get to sleep in every day.

My last year at ATVN, I also worked weekends at KABC in the Web Department. That’s in addition to spending all my other free time (what free time?) during the week at ATVN. 


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

The three “R"s are fitting here: Reading, ‘Riting, ‘Rithmetic

1) Reading—live and breathe news. I don’t care if you read the paper or read it online, but make sure it nearly becomes an obsession to know what’s going on in the world.
2) Writing—make sure you can write! You’ll be doing A LOT of it, and the better you are, the easier a time you’ll have.
3) Arithmetic—especially for producers, but for anyone really. If you can’t add up your time properly to write a story/produce a show within your time limits, you’re going to be in trouble.

What were your duties at ATVN? :

Executive Producer, Producer, Reporter, Director, Technical Director, PLAYBACK!

How did ATVN prepare you for your career?:

ATVN is as real-world as it gets. From the morning meeting to the post-mortem, it’s scary how similar my day-to-day job now is to what I did at ATVN. Without a doubt, ATVN prepared me in every way for my current position.

What is your advice to aspiring journalists?:

Don’t give up and always give it your all. If you really have a passion for what you’re doing, whether it’s in front or behind the camera, don’t ever give it up. If you’re serious about it, you’ll do just fine.

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

Don’t let anyone pressure you into accepting a job that you’re not ready to accept. If someone gives you a 24-hour window after offering you the job, it’s not worth it. If they really wanted you and valued your work, they’d respect you enough to give you some time to decide. Also, be wary of offers that come immediately after—or even BEFORE—you interview for the position. Make sure to give it some time and consider your options before jumping into a contract with the first station to offer you something.


February 15, 2007

Patrick Becker takes a look at how the city is cracking down on crime in skid row

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