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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Communication is the Name of the Game


When we first started this class and we went around telling each other what we thought the most important quality of a producer was, I said that leadership and organization was key. While I still think those two qualities are vital for a successful producer, I would have to change my answer to say that communication is by far the most important quality.

For my second time being video teammate, the role of communication could not be more vital. As video teammate you need to constantly be communicating with the lead producer, graphics producer, the assignment desk, the MJs, and of course, the reporters.

Picking the videos from bitcentral might seem like it would be one of the easier parts of producing, but the combination of that with the task of managing all of the other broll the MJs and reporters shoot and edit makes this job the hardest of all three in my opinion.

For all the producing roles, I would have to say communication is the most important when you are video teammate. From the very first story of the day till the last second before the show airs, you are entirely relying on the communication you've had throughout the day to make sure what you wanted from the MJs and reporters was shot and edited as you planned. If you do not communicate with them and convey exactly what it is you want them to shoot, then, in the end, it is your fault as the video producer if they do not get the footage you were expecting.

You have to constantly be checking in with the MJs and reporters and making sure what is being written for the story matches the video they are getting and vice-a-versa.

I think this week I did a much better job than my first time as video teammate and that is because my communication was much stronger. I was constantly talking with Olivia, our lead producer, and Christen, our graphics producer, as well as the MJs and reporters to make sure we were getting everything we needed. I made an Excel spreadsheet that included all the information for every single video and it made such difference with how the day went. By about 5p.m., when I left for the studio, there were only five videos offline, two of which were reporter packages.

I still have room to improve, but I know that the changes I made in my communication with everyone made an impact on the success of our show.

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