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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Be a Tease

Teases are one of the most important aspects of the show. They draw the viewer in and give a preview

of what they can expect to see if they stick around to watch. As lead producer, it’s your job to do the writing and planning. Yesterday, for the pre-show I teased three really important stories. The reason I picked them though, wasn’t because of how important they are, but rather because I had the right materials. If you have an incredible story but you have no sound or video to go along with it, then you might not be able to do a tease. The chance of not having anything to work with is rare, but it can happen. Yesterday, for example, we had late breaking news of an attempted bombing at the Federal Reserve building in New York. It was too late in the day to get local reaction and the only video we had was of exterior shots of the building – nothing particularly interesting. I decided not to tease it, but rather to put it at the top of the show. The material wasn’t there, and we had so many other visual stories, but it was important so I had to make sure that if viewers changed the channel after the first part of the show, they wouldn’t miss the story.

An important lesson from this week: be nice. Everyone in the newsroom can get stressed, and it’s easy to get mad because somebody doesn’t know what they’re doing – but I’ve learned that if you say things with a smile and give people a break, you’re more likely to get the results you’re looking for.

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