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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Dear Future Producers

Future producers you're in for a long semester but that shouldn't scare you, it's honestly so exciting! The first time you produce during run-through week you will have absolutely zero idea what you are doing and will not realize all that goes into producing a 30-minute newscast. You will have so much appreciation for your previous producers who always seemed to handle everything with such grace and dignity while you feel as if you're running around like a chicken with your head cut off. 

First and foremost, I will tell you that you are capable of producing a 30-minute newscast. Annenberg provides you with such great faculty advisors, leaders, peers, etc. and I guarantee that the show will go on-air. As my executive producer Alexa Liacko told me, no matter what happens at 6:00p.m. you will start the show and at 6:30p.m. the show will end. Now, whether that entire 30-minute span is black or if you have content for your audience is up to you and I promise you the content will most likely be there (except when you have reporters who can't seem to finish a package by the start of the show!). 

Next, I will advise you to have a clear vision for what you want your newscast to be like and this takes preparation. You have to know the news. You need to know the stories you are covering so that you can really think about how you want to cover them. This means watching local news, reading the Skimm, checking the budget the night and morning before the morning meeting. However, it is also just following what we have been covering to see how we can continue to develop the bigger stories especially ones related to USC.

Take advantage of everything the new Media Center has to offer. If you have an idea, try it out! Work with John, Stacy, Tom, whoever to see if it is possible and then take the risk to see how it will work in your newscast. We have so much available to us and we haven't even scratched the surface at what we can do with it. 

Finally, don't get overwhelmed. We are all young. We are going to make mistakes. None of us have ever done this before. Rather than freaking out because that one MJ forgot to use his or her tripod again, focus on figuring out how you can work with that MJ to remember it the next time. We are all developing and it is our job as producers and the leaders of the Media Center to really encourage this growth. Don't always give the same people the work to do. Instead, work with the ones that need a little extra help. It makes his or her experience that much better and you are helping everyone get better which is what we all want at the end of the day. 

Remember to have fun and I promise you this semester will be long, hard at times, tiring, but most importantly, this semester is so incredibly valuable so take advantage every step of the way.

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