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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Time To Fix What I Could've Done Better

Web/graphics teammate, video teammate and lead producer. Some would say I had the easiest rotation--transitioning from the "easiest" to the most difficult role with every week that passed. I would say it was still just as challenging.

Now that I have done all three positions, I've crafted a list of things I will do differently next time.

Web/Graphics: My first time as the web/graphics teammate, I feel I did a good job at posting content to social media and keeping our audience informed. While I was using material our multimedia journalists (MJs) and reporters were getting for the broadcast, I feel that I could've done a better job at being more a part of the broadcast at the beginning of the day. In other words, if I had used social media to crowdsource information, a lot of our stories could've been stronger.

On the graphics front, I will make sure to be more creative with my graphics decisions. Maybe it was because it was my first week, but that first Monday of producing, I was just taking what the lead producer was putting in the "SS# + Cutline" column and creating a literal translation. Taking more ownership of the direction of our graphics and even pitching graphic elements to our lead producer could take the show to the next level.

Video Teammate: This was without a doubt the hardest position for me. Maybe it was the pressure of being responsible for all video elements of a TV broadcast or the fact that I was the primary point of contact for MJs that made it all the more stressful. In my second show as video teammate, I'll try to focus on the style and execution of the video, paying close attention to framing. What I've noticed is that when video was framed poorly or audio levels were off, it took away from the story. This goes without saying for some, but making sure none of our video starts in black would also be a good call.

More importantly, I think I'm at the point where I've worked with the MJs for a good while that I feel comfortable giving them constructive feedback on the video they bring back to the Media Center.

Lead Producer: Experiment, experiment and experiment. With the weight of an average news day in Los Angeles, it's easy to forget who our audience is. The next time I am lead producer, I would like to experiment with different ways of formatting stories and exploring stories that would be good for "team coverage." I feel that this type of deeper coverage could appeal to a college-aged audience.

I also feel that a huge asset of our broadcast is that we stream live. I would like to challenge myself to use the element of a live guest to explore topics we never thought we would cover with guests we never thought we could get. I know producing is only supposed to be a 12-hour shift, but I've learned that it doesn't hurt to book your guest ahead of time if you think it will still be around a good, relevant topic.

This happened with a financial aid expert idea I had for a live guest segment. Because of the nature of the topic (financial aid, FAFSA, scholarships), I thought it would be easy to book someone who could share tips and tricks for paying for college with just a 24-hour notice. It wasn't. I knew that the deadline to apply for financial aid would be Monday, March 2nd, weeks ago, so I could've planned for that better.

Something I will apply to all positions, though, is communication. It's better to be in constant contact than in a constant state of confusion. 

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