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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Picking Your Moments

We are very fortunate to have the technology to be able to include live shots in our newscasts. However, it is important to know when to pick and choose the moments when this element will actually add something to your story and serve a purpose.

This week we did not have a live shot, and although it would have been fun to put one in our newscast did not call for one. As producers we have to make decisions every day about how to create the best show possible, and when choosing what to include and what to float it is important to remember to put quality over quantity.

Today we could have had a live shot from the Annenberg Career Fair or from outside Bovard as Korean culture night began, but neither of these shots was essential. The stories did not even end up making it into our newscast.

It's important to pick and choose your moments to utilize live shots because in other cases even if nothing is going on they can add excitement to a story. Last week we used a live shot of Connor outside the Staples Center leading up to the final four games. In that case it was a great element to the story to put someone so close to the arena, and it made sense as a lead in to our package that followed.

In class today, the producers got a chance to try out our live eqiupment. It's an interesting feeling switching positions and getting to step into the shoes of your anchors and reporters. I did a live shot as an exercise, and it really is an awesome, yet terrifying, feeling when you're live and don't knowing if what you're saying is making it on air. I gained a lot of respect and admiration for our reporters who jump at the chance of going live. The only thing I can compare it to is walking into a dark room in your home and searching for a light switch. You're not entirely sure if you're making the right moves, but you have a general idea of where you are heading. Once you find the switch and turn on the light things come together. It's an amazing skill to be able to go into a live shot blind and determined to make it through.

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