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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Parting Words


Starting the role as producer I remember my biggest fear was being able to survive the entire day. I thought I might start to burn out during my almost 12-hour shift, but I was completely wrong. There is nothing like the adrenaline of a newsroom to keep anyone awake, alert and going at top speed even with no time for food breaks.

I remember telling my roommate about the shift and all the stress the producers go through on a daily basis. My roommates reaction was horror at the thought of choosing between grabbing lunch or reviewing your rundown or scripts that much longer. And while she was describing the course as inhumane, I heard myself start to defend my crazy hours and decisions to skip lunch because I was just that dedicated to the news.

For me, it wasn’t a difficult choice to want to spend more time on my rundown. I realized that through my experience I had come to adore the adrenaline rush that came with breaking news and the satisfaction that I had created an entire day’s newscast out of thin air. My rundown was blank when I came in and at 6p.m. it was filled with stories of the day that matter to the community. By the end of the semester I started to look at producing differently. Rather than asking myself, “When can I go home and sleep?” I began to ask, “Next time what can I do to make it better? How can I implement that chroma key appearance? When can I do this again?”

So for those students who will be producing next semester, the adrenaline rush of making the timeslot will get you through the long day, and your love of news will keep you coming back for more.

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