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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

It All Starts With A Morning Meeting

Although the news never stops, the morning meeting is a time for ATVN, ARN and Neon Tommy members to come together and decide what stories are most important that day. One of the most frustrating aspects of these meetings, however, is that not everyone on team Monday is in the Media Center for them. I can only imagine the wide range of story ideas we would be presented with if everyone was able to make it into the control room by 8:15 a.m.

Right after our news quiz each morning, the producers head into the quiet edit room to go over what ideas they came up with the night before the show. One of the most difficult aspects of pitching, in my opinion, is coming up with ideas that are not only relevant to our audience, but to that day in particular as well. "What's new about it today?" is a question I am often asked when I pitch my story ideas in the morning meeting.

Now that we are more than halfway through the semester, I have learned what qualities are necessary in order to pitch good, newsworthy stories in our morning meeting. I think the most important thing is, you have to be on top of the news. Although I only produce on Monday, it is important for me to keep up with everything going on in the world every day of the week. While we might not have the means to cover an international story relevant to that day, being informed about it can spark other ideas and lead us to cover important issue stories more relevant to our viewers.

During our post-mortem meeting in the studio, Faith will often go around the room asking people what stories they would have liked to see covered in our show. These people who work studio shifts often don't come to the Media Center until 4 p.m. that day, long after our morning editorial meeting. But many times, they have fabulous ideas. I always think, "why couldn't you have been here to pitch that in the morning meeting?" It is difficult to get everyone's input when our staff all come in at various times throughout the day. I think a way to overcome that would be to get more people aware that their story ideas really can help. If we set up a digital platform for ATVN members to submit their stories at any time of the day, I think it could be beneficial to everyone.

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