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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Zeus Ayter

Class of 2004, Bachelor's

I graduated from USC in the summer of 2004.  I was lucky enough to stay in Los Angeles and work for the national FSN a few months after graduation.  And that’s where I am at this second in my life.


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

1) Understand EVERY aspect of television journalism.  If you want to be on camera, still learn how to roduce/what goes into production (and vice versa).  Learn how to edit on the Avid machines.  Understand what every position in the studio is about.  Learn how to write and shoot.  Nobody’s going to decide you’re TOO qualified to work at their station.  2) Think outside the box.  Always try to be creative in what you’re doing.  You’ll learn the basics of writing a story/reporting/producing from the classes you’re in.  But what will make you stand out is how you incorporate your own creativity in telling these daily stories.  Always be thinking of a different angle to take on a generic story.  3) Go out and get your feet wet.  If you’re going to make mistakes in this business, what better place to make them than as a student at ATVN.  Volunteer for whatever you can at ATVN.  This isn’t a real textbook-based career.  You figure out what to do in this business through personal experience.  So get as many of those personal experiences you can while at ATVN.

What were your duties at ATVN? :

Sports Director, Producer, Reporter, Writer/Shooter/Editor

How did ATVN prepare you for your career?:

The only reason I got my job was because of all the work I did at ATVN.  I came to the school as an eager, yet “green” freshman, and learned just about everything I know about sports journalism from ATVN.


It really was though.  I had three or four internships while at USC...and they were important.  But being in ATVN as much as possible and acquiring the skills (and resume tape material) there helped prepare me most for “the real world.”

What is your advice to aspiring journalists?:

WORK.  I know that you’re in college and it’s fun/crazy/hectic, but work.  And make sure you enjoy the work you’re doing at ATVN.  If you’re not loving every minute of the journalism experience you’re getting at ATVN, choose another major.  You’ll be hard-pressed to find another atmosphere as great to work in as ATVN.

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