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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Heather Moore

Class of 2000, Bachelor's


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

1. You need to be a great writer and learn how to do it quickly.
2.Remember to make your stories important, relevant and as interesting as you can....viewers have a short attention span.
3. Be a go-getter. In small markets, you have to dig a little deeper for story ideas. Remember everybody has a story to tell....they’re all around us. Find a way to make it special.

What were your duties at ATVN? :

Entertainment Anchor/Reporter

How did ATVN prepare you for your career?:

ATVN was invaluable in preparing me for my first job. I was able to gain confidence in front of the camera, as well as a hands-on understanding of what it takes to put a newscast together. From story idea, to setting up interviews, to concise and compelling writing, timing and on-air delivery....the opportunities to get a taste of what the professional world requires, and truly helped me slide right into a full-time anchor job straight out of school.

What is your advice to aspiring journalists?:

Never underestimate the power of good writing.
If you’re not doing what you love, it will be very hard to move up.
Make sure you work hard and put the time your best every day and eventually, it will pay off.
Above all, have a positive attitude!!! 

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

Expect to do the most work you will ever do in this business...and expect little money in return. The good can easily double with each subsequent job you take. Be prepared to work many more hours beyond the schedule you were hired for....look at it as an investment in your future. Don’t worry too much about position....if you’re good, you will move up quickly.
Really try to negotiate the least amount of time under contract...the sooner you put the time in, soak up every opportunity to learn and grow, and work out your on-air kinks, the sooner you can move to a bigger market with more money. Ask for outs in desired markets.

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