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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Knowing the rundown


Knowing your rundown is probably the single most important task that a lead producer has.  The rundown is a living document that is constantly growing and changing.  Knowing its parts is knowing its potential.  One of my midterm goals is to have a better understanding of the rundown throughout the day.  I have a tendancy to views things through a "big picture" lens and overlook details.  This comes back to bite me during the afternoon rundown meeting and I can talk about each story generally, but find myself struggling to describe the video or sound bite.  I seem unprepared and unaware.  To achieve my goal, I plan on keeping a running list of rundown stories and updating it whenever a video is ordered, an MJ is sent out, an interview is recorded, etc.  This way I will actively engage in each story and better prepare for the rundown meeting.  In addition to that, I will know which stories are strong and which stories need to be fleshed out.  If my show is heavy, I will immediately know which story to float.  If it's too light, I know what holes I can fill.  It also helps me order the show.  The better stories will find their way to the A block, while the less "newsy" ones will hang back in the B or C.  A strong rundown makes a strong show.  I know that by keeping a running list, I will be way more prepared come showtime and my newscast will reflect that.

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