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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

There's More To Communication Than I Thought

I never would have guessed that I would learn so much from just two days of producing live newscasts. Two days! In that short amount of time, I feel like I’ve learned more about teamwork than ever before. 

Without a doubt, communication is key. I always knew that communication was important, but these last few days of producing really taught me the true value behind the skill. Managing countless Multimedia Journalists (MJs) is very difficult, especially when many of them are new to ATVN and are in and out of the newsroom throughout the day. It is tough to remember their names, and it is even more challenging to keep track of their assignment and whether or not they remembered to add Computer Graphics (CGs) to their stories.  Checking in with MJs and receiving updates is clearly an essential part of fixing this problem, but I’ve learned something more about communication that’s much less obvious.

Communication is not just about letting your teammates know what problems need to be fixed or what assignments still need to be finished. As much as communication is about ensuring tasks are complete, it is also about acknowledging the things that are going well. I learned this today when I found an unmotivated MJ who stopped working on his assignment because he was overwhelmed by the writing and editing process. When I found out this MJ was not making any progress, I reminded him that his task still needed to be completed. About 30 minutes later, he still did not make any further developments with his story. At first this frustrated me, but then I realized I could take communication to a different level. I sat next to him and walked him through the process of how to write a story and how to edit a Voiceover (VO) and a Sound On Tape (SOT) on Adobe Premiere. Once he started to make progress, I told him that he was doing a great job and I reminded him that he could come to me if he had any questions. I left him to work, and within fifteen minutes he had a beautifully written script and edited video. I could tell he was proud of his work. Not only was he excited that he completed the assignment well, but he also asked to work on another story!

That experience alone taught me so much about communication. Positive reinforcement and patience go a long way. If you have teammates who feel like they are appreciated and being listening to, you will have motivated teammates who contribute to an overall better quality newscast. Communication is not a one-way road; it works both ways. 

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