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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Where Did The Time Go?

It’s so hard to believe that the end of the semester is already here and my time producing the Tuesday show has come to an end. I could have not have asked for a more fulfilling experience. Producing for ATVN provided me with a true glimpse of what it means to work on a newscast. The skills I've gained and the lessons I learned producing the Tuesday show are things that will stick with me for the rest of my life. 

For those who will be taking on my role as producer for the upcoming semester DO NOT STRESS OUT. There’s no denying that being a producer is no easy job but it’s important that you give yourself due credit and realize that you’re capable of fulfilling the task. That being said there are definitely ways you can prepare yourself for next semester to make for an even smoother transition.

1. During the producing training sessions with your EP make sure to pay attention. While the training may seem long and tedious the skills that they’re trying to teach will literally come in handy the following week. Definitely pay extra close attention to macro-keys and how to format the show. Once you know all the macros it makes building the rundown so much easier. 

2. Although it’s not required I would definitely suggest going to the AVID editing training session simply to freshen up your skills. As video producer you’re not required to actually edit but there’s no predicting what could happen. There are moments when you will be short on both MJs and time and your only option is to edit video yourself. 

3. Make sure to come to the morning meetings prepared and ready to contribute. The whole purpose of the morning meeting is to exchange ideas as to how we should build the show. The meetings run more smoothly when everyone is contributing instead of just a few select people. 

4. Get to know who your strongest reporters are. If there’s a huge story that you know may be difficult to cover try to put your best reporter on it. There’s nothing worse than having someone drop the ball and then not being able to do the story anymore. That being said, keep in mind that people do develop over the semester. For your reporters that may not have the strongest skill set at first keep challenging them little by little week-by-week. You’ll be amazed by how quickly people are able to improve when given a chance. 

5. Make sure to keep in contact with your reporters and anchors throughout the day. As a producer it’s your job to be on top of everything. That means knowing what elements of a story each anchor/reporter already has and what more needs to be done. Make it a point to check in on them at least once every two hours. You’ll be grateful for this when during your afternoon rundown meeting with Stacy you’re actually able to give detailed responses when she asks what elements each story contains. 

Most importantly don’t forget that this is a learning experience. You’re bound to make mistakes…everyone does. And when you do make a mistake don’t beat yourself up over it. All you need to do is learn from it and move on from there. To everyone who will be producing next semester I wish you the best of luck. 

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