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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

We're Doing It Live!

One of the most amazing aspects of working in the new Media Center in Wallis Annenberg Hall is the amount of technology we have at our disposal. Although we can't get reporters live in the field just yet, we are already learning the best ways to implement live elements into our show from around the newsroom.

I was very impressed when I saw last Wednesday's show. They brought two student activists promoting an anti-rape campaign into the studio for a live Q&A. The set looked fantastic, the shots were innovative and visually-appealing, and the anchor did a great job interviewing the two girls.

Courtesy of ATVN
Courtesy of ATVN

Every week my producing team and I try our best to get some kind of live element like this into our show. This week we had a few options we tried to pursue. Because our show had a lot of pre-election stories, we tried getting political experts or local party members to come in as live guests. We thought having someone explain the various propositions live, on our show, would be a great added element. In the evening, Django Unchained actress Daniele Watts spoke at USC, and we worked to try and land a live interview with her as well. 

Unfortunately, none of the people we contacted were willing to come in for a live interview during our show. As video producer, I assigned many different people to reach out to potential interviewees throughout the day. It's hard seeing them put in so much hard work and energy, when most of the time people won't even give them a call back. At the same time, we don't want just any live guest to talk about any random story. The live guests we chose to pursue this week would have been relevant to our top stories. They would have enhanced our coverage and allowed us to utilize the amazing technology we have.

But our push for a live element didn't stop once we realized we were not going to have a live interview in the show. Andrea, our lead producer this week, came up with a great idea to have Latifa, one of our master's students, stand in the studio as a live reporter. Although the Hyundai/Kia car emissions story wasn't one of our biggest, I felt it was something that was relevant to a very wide range of people. Our focus on it as a live element made it stand out from other stories we had, and I think all in all it was a nice touch to the show.

As we get closer to the end of the semester, I can only hope that team Monday will someday be able to score a live interview for our show. I have a lot of faith in my team and know that their hard work and strong focus on finding interview subjects will pay off in the long run.

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