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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Frustration, Organization and Delegation

The Wednesday team, as a whole, is fantastic. Everyone from the fledgling assignment desk editors to the veteran executive producer is eager to put on a broadcast that we can all be proud of. However, we are all quickly realizing that putting on that stellar show we all dream of is much easier said than done. 

Nonetheless, this week has taught me how important our cohesion as a group is. Without my Team Wednesday peers (especially my fellow producers) I’d be completely lost (yes, even more than I currently am). Faith, Roonhee, and I work well together and do our best to check in with one another as consistently as possible. Truly, this communication is absolutely key to surviving the news day because if there’s one thing that yesterday taught us it’s that breaking news, while exciting, can cause quite a headache. 

When news breaks, you have to be ready. This sounds really obvious but, trust me, that concept is infinitely clearer to me now. Everything that you should already be doing throughout the day (e.g. communicating frequently with everyone on the team and keeping organized) becomes exponentially more integral to your survival. Luckily, most of yesterday’s breaking news happened earlier in the day. Regardless, the hectic re-ordering and re-assigning associated with the breaking news completely threw me off for the rest of the day—so much so that I found myself sprinting through the newsroom at 5:40 trying to send in all of the video and graphics that we needed for the A block of the show.

Really, none of that frantic rush would’ve been necessary had I kept organized enough to delegate some of my responsibilities. That’s the one thing this week that I need to work on for future news days—organization and delegation. Once I started to stress out about editing the videos and ordering the last minute graphics, I stopped keeping lists of which MJs were available, what they were working on, and what graphics had been ordered or sent back to the edit bays. This lack of housekeeping left me running around the newsroom like a madwoman while others waited for a task to complete. Obviously, people wanted to help me out with whatever I could give them, but because I hadn’t stayed organized in that last hour before air, I had no idea what to give them. 

This is definitely the main lesson I learned this week regarding working with my team: keep organized enough to delegate what needs to be delegated. Sometimes housekeeping can be a pain, but it really can save you from that frantic 5:30 rush. 

Yet, despite the craziness at the end of the evening, the show was a success. I am truly proud to have played a part in yesterday’s show and I’m looking forward to watching everyone continue to work and improve together for even better broadcasts in the future. 

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