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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Back In The Day

Back in the day when I was a freshman I didn’t have a media center like the one we have today. I’m actually amazed by how much has changed within Annenberg and ATVN since I first enrolled as a student at USC. Out of all the changes, I think the biggest transformation is the brand new building that allows all of Annenberg’s news outlets to collaborate and work together as one. 

When ATVN was in the old building, there seemed to be more of a competitive nature between ATVN, ARN and Neon Tommy. We worked in separate rooms, and there was rarely any form of collaboration. It was disappointing because as Annenberg students, we weren’t working together to produce the most effective and wide-ranging content possible. It seemed we were just competing to get the news out first. 

However, things have changed for the better. Not only do we have an amazing facility, but we also have a space where we can communicate efficiently and effectively. For example, in the morning meetings ARN and ATVN brainstorm ideas together. This results in consistent coverage across both outlets.

One of the coolest things about this is we help each other with story development throughout the day. Just last week ATVN producers wanted to do a story on the venomous snakes that were washing up along the California coast. ARN did some research for their coverage and found out that one of the snakes was getting DNA tested at the California Science Center down the street. ARN secured an interview for us, which was very helpful because we were desperately looking for an expert who would be able to tell us more about these crazy creatures! The collaboration didn't stop there. When ARN realized they were unable to send someone there from their team, we grabbed audio for them during our ATVN interview!

Even though we have taken steps to collaborate more, I think we could put in more effort. For example, we can have producers from each outlet shoot stand-ups during the 1 p.m. ATVN show to let our audience know what each team is working on. Jim, one of the ATVN producers, did this one time in his 1 p.m. show, and I thought it was an effective way to converge.

Overall, I think the more we include each outlet in news coverage the better. If we each feel like we are being productive and that we are being helpful as one team, we will each be encouraged to collaborate more and more.

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