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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Ashley Hernandez

Class of 2011, Bachelor's


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

Learn to write quickly, clearly and accurately. Learn to work with various personalities. Learn to have a positive attitude at all times. Panic is the enemy!

What were your duties at ATVN? :

As a transfer student I missed out on two years of ATVN quality time so I immersed myself as much as i could when I got to USC working as a camera operator, doing video playback, graphics, multimedia journalist, reporter and producer. As an MJ, I also stayed late when court cases ran long or arrived early for my shift when it was a  high profile case.

How did ATVN prepare you for your career?:

ATVN taught me to hustle to get the latest story and best news angle of whatever the day has to offer. ATVN also taught me to have respect for everyone I come into contact with in the newsroom. Everyone is a valuable member of the team and it's my friendly, positive attitude that encourages editors, photogs and reporters to go that extra mile to make my hour of news extraordinary even after they have already spent hours in the rain. or wind, or smoke. I make sure to recognize and thank my team.

What is your advice to aspiring journalists?:

Never let anyone put you down. Everyone is struggling to climb ahead in this business and some people eventually get jaded. It's important to remember why you wanted to be a journalist in the first place and to keep that in mind when working with difficult people on tough stories. 

What should graduates keep in mind when negotiating their first job?:
It's only temporary. When you get offered that morning show shift that has you up working overnight, or when you see your tiny paycheck just remember there will be a day when your hard work is rewarded. Just be patient and positive! While negotiating ask about other opportunities that may open up in the near future and to be considered for them first. It's also important to have a frank, open discussion about what you really want from your job in the newsroom.  I originally interviewed for a position as a web producer at my first job, but when the news director saw my true passion for news producing in the interview he said, "I don't know what position we have for you here... but I just want you in my newsroom." He hired me and a month later I became the 6am morning show producer!

Parting Words

May 10, 2011

One student describes what kept her motivated during her semester as a Producer at ATVN.

Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding hours away

April 28, 2011

Los Angeles residents prepare for the marriage of Prince William and Kate.

Twitter: Friend or Foe?

April 8, 2011

One producer walks the fine line that comes with social media credibility

Thousands of riders expected for CicLavia

April 7, 2011

The 2nd anual CicLavia is giving Los Angeles seven miles of car-free streets this Sunday

Murphy’s Law in the Newsroom

April 1, 2011

When live shots and breaking news go all wrong, one producer scrambles to make the news right!

We can still make it!

March 25, 2011

One of our producers explains how live shots add much needed time to her news day.

Who’s number one?

March 11, 2011

One Thursday Producer tries to balance working national and local news together seemlessly.

So much news, so little time

March 4, 2011

One Thursday producer shares how she juggles news being thrown at her from all sides.

Learning To Let Go Of Your Reporter’s Hand

February 18, 2011

One associate producer learns to how to let go and trust her reporter's news judgement.

The Egyptian President’s Speech

February 11, 2011

A countless number of people eagerly waited Mubarak's speech, one of them was our own Thursday Producer.

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