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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

The forgotten teases


When we practiced teases in class, I actually found them fairly hard. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with your wording and use the same phrases like “We’ll tell you…” and “Find out how…” over and over again. But the biggest problem that I found with teases was that it’s easy to completely forget about them. You are so concerned with story selection and getting everything done that they easily slip your mind until the very end of the day.

This week as lead producer, I definitely came across this issue. Around 4pm I realized I needed to get a jump on my teases. Luckily, mine were very easy to pick, seeming as I had three large stories that day: Pirates Attack, New Zealand Quake, and Libya Uprising. All three of these stories had good video so I didn’t struggle with choosing that.

I encountered more of a problem with the superteases. I wanted to make sure I used good video that we shot for them, but also big stories of the day. One of those stories was the Wisconsin bill story. This had been a story that had been giving us trouble all day. It kind of just sat in iNews and no one touched it until around 5pm. By the time I had left for the studio, someone had been assigned the story but I had not seen it or seen its updates. I was then told that I needed to write the tease in the studio. I learned very quickly it’s hard to write a story you haven’t seen the video or read the script for.

All in all, I learned you just have to get creative with teases, but also know the stories. These stories you choose are your top ones, and if you don’t know what’s going on in them, why put them in your show?

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