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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Does Someone Have a Car?

When you are watching the news the night before your producing day and early in the morning, you think you have it all planned out. It would seem that there are a few major stories, and a few good VSVs or VOSOTs, but then you go to the morning meeting and then you see how many people have cars. Today, we had to turn someone around from a story pretty far away to send them to another event closer by and then we had to move someone else to a breaking news event. It is these snap judgments that make story development a rapid process despite any type of preparation you may have done before the day started.

My biggest issue is using resources wisely. I realize now as a producer that it is important that MJs or reporters have a car or they know the DASH system. We are not exploiting them, but using them and their journalistic resources to make our show better.  In doing so, this allows us to strive to be a professional newscast.

Stories live on the board until they come alive in packages, in sound and in video. It is thanks to reporters and MJs who make these possible. But there is quite a lot that goes into a story to keep it alive and healthy. A truly healthy story will have all elements including, yes including, outcues, runs times and CGs. If one aspect is not readily available, the piece will not look professional. This is where I have learned that teamwork is so critical, especially when the Video Teammate hands over the videos at the end of the day to me, as I wrap up my job as the Web Graphics Teammate. It was crucial to realize the details of those videos that were not done.

When a story required video as well as sound and we then realized that the person only got interviews and not b-roll, we had to work with what we had.  Making those quick decisions really helped everyone to stay calm and stay on the same page.

The most rewarding part of story development and creation is seeing it appear on the show at 6 p.m. To know that we had nothing to start with except our story lists and package ideas at the start of the day, it feels quite good to see the show become a reality. It feels especially amazing when there are examples of complete, healthy and happy stories to show for our day. I am so proud of Team Wednesday and I am looking forward to what the rest of the semester will hold in the balance.

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