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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

What Day is it Again?


When I looked at the clock at 4:45p.m. Thursday and saw that all of the videos were online except two reporter packages and three SOTs that were almost done being edited, I was pretty happy with my video responsibilities of the day.

The newsroom was pretty calm and we were all excited for our live shot that Joy Wang was reporting for our newscast.

As the video teammate, I left for the studio about 5:10p.m. and went to get everything set up in the studio. However, when I got to the studio and the phone rang, the response on the other end was the last thing in the world I was expecting to hear.

“Hello Haley? It’s Joy. You guys do realize that today is not April 12th, the day that the event for this live shot is for right?” My jaw literally dropped, as I could not believe that that had happened. At 5:35p.m. we had no event for the live shot, which was already set up and at the top of our show.

If anyone knows about live shots, then they know that there are millions of little things that can go wrong. Things such as the connection being lost, the screen going black, the audio not working, etc., but, never did I think our live shot problem would be that the event was happening on a different day.

In a whirlwind of panic we tried to think of what we could do. Luckily, it just so happened to be the Take Back the Night event happening at Tommy Trojan near the place where the event next week was occurring. In about 25minutes, the producers and the EP shadow frantically re-wrote the live shot, shot and edited a VO, sent Joy a script to read, and re-setup all the equipment for the live shot in the new location.

Because of all the craziness in the studio and newsroom, we were only able to run-through the A block for less than ten minutes. Basically, we were going live, blind.

When the new live shot started to come together, it was moved down in the rundown and around 6:04p.m. the show had been reformatted and rewritten for that whole portion.

Despite all the chaos, our live shot surprisingly went well as did our entire newscast. For not being able to practice the B or C block, and not practicing the live shot, miraculously, we pulled off a very good show.

While it ended up working out, it reminded me how carefully things need to be checked. It was crazy that not one of the six people who knew about the live shot knew that the event was on April 12thand not April 5th.

While our live shot experience was a crazy one this week, at least we have our live shot ready for next week! 

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