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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Taking It To The Next Level

As we near the end of the semester, one goal of many ATVN producers is to continue to build each day-of-air newscast into a show that is a little more informative, interesting and memorable than the one before it. In order to do this, we try to find “creative extras” that take our show to the next level.

Yesterday’s newscast is a perfect example of how we strive to make our show more informative.  The whole first half of the show was dedicated to the Paris terrorist attacks that happened on Friday. Since we need to keep our news current and relatable to our audience, we had to develop angles that not only provided the latest information, but that also brought the story closer to home. We started the newscast off with quick “what we know now” takeaways that acted like a table of contents for the first part of our show. This allowed us to brief our audience right off the bat, while leaving room to dive into detail later on. As the show continued, we expanded our coverage to include information about the ongoing search for suspects, how France’s president plans to extend the country’s state of emergency to three months, and how the United States plans to handle the issue. To make the coverage more local, we spoke to USC students studying abroad in France, as well as students who are concerned about studying abroad next semester. We also checked in on local venues, like the L.A. Coliseum, to see how they plan to strengthen their security measures. All of these developed angles allowed us to provide as much information as possible to our audience. 

We also do a variety of things to make our show more interesting and memorable. We often play with different cameras and put our anchors or multimedia journalists in front of monitors. This makes a shot stand out from the rest! We also use stand-up teases at the top of our show to reel our audience in even more. Props are also used to make our show memorable! When we covered the controversy over Starbuck’s holiday cups, our anchor Cole Sullivan brought one of the cups to the set. On a separate day our weather anchor, Taylor Edghill, had a shoe designer bring in prototypes of his designs. This makes the audience feel like they are getting an “inside look,” and therefore makes our show a little more memorable! 

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