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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Update, Update, Update--The Life of a Journalist in the World Wide Web

The state of our digital technology in this day and age has made it increasingly important to stay up-to-the-minute with news.  I know it may sound cliche but news is truly all around us--and it was all around me today as a Web Supervisor in the morning.  I was going into the day feeling confident about my position.  I thought it certainly wasn't the same level of stress as the lead producer job, right?  Well, after the morning meeting, there was quite a bit to accomplish on the web.  Bianca and Robbie were quite helpful in instructing me on the practical needs of my job, especially keeping up with the latest news on each story.

I have learned through my time at ATVN this semester that delegation is critical to being productive.  There are plenty of people in the newsroom and you have to use each effectively to work efficiently.  I am the kind of person who likes to do everything myself.  But I have found that nothing gets accomplished in this atmosphere with thoughts like that.  So, I delegated stories to my web workers while I was working on the one breaking story about the drowning of the South L.A. toddler.  This drowning of the one-year-old and near drowning of the five-year-old girl on 50th St. was such a sad story, but was constantly changing.  I tried contacting the hospital media contact but their inbox was full.  So, I was relying on one of the reporters out in the field to bring me accurate information when she heard it from officials.  She did a good job!  It seemed like I only had one story to work on, but with the web, there are always new pieces of information being revealed about plenty of stories, such as the information about the charges placed on the Fremont teacher's aide.

It is imperative to keep on top of the updates and the hardest part about that is being meticulous: remembering the teases, changing the weights, writing and editing using correct style and making sure I have an accurate picture to use to depict the story.  While trying to manage everyone and everything, it would seem that it is sometimes difficult to write on my feet.  That is something I am determined to work on in the coming week as a Web Supervisor. 

On a positive note, the best part about the web is the construction of each story.  I love the process of building a story from the ground up with titles, teases and pictures and using what we've gathered as reporters to show some enterprise reporting.  These are the kinds of skills that will allow me to be a valuable asset in any newsroom with a website that needs updating--oh and a positive attitude is the best way to keep you smiling!


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