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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

To Lead Or Not To Lead

One of the hardest parts of being a producer is choosing how you want to format the show. So much time and effort is put into finalizing which stories you want to put in the show and where in the show you want them to go. Picking what you want to be the lead story is a lot harder than it seems. It’s not always going to be an obvious choice. Let’s imagine that it’s Election Day. Clearly the lead story is going to be something that deals with the election. However everyday isn’t Election Day and at times the decision of what is going to be at the top of the show becomes a lot harder to make. When choosing a lead story I prefer to do stories that have a lot of elements. The lead story is supposed to capture the viewer’s attention that way they stay tuned for the rest of the show. I think it’s best to start off with a package because it would be impossible to appeal to viewers with simple copy stories. Packages contain both captivating footage and interviews, which are two elements that attracts viewers. Most importantly I think it’s dire that the lead story be something that your audience would actually be interested in. Being a young student and knowing that my audience consists primarily of USC students I do try to choose stories that would appeal to a younger college generation. When possible I try and lead with stories that are USC related simply because I know that’s what my audience cares the most about. It’s important for students to have a source for USC news and I hope that ATVN provides that for them. 

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