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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Come in and work together

In the past ATVN, ARN and Neon Tommy were separate entities that barely crossed paths. However, with the creation of the Media Center we have made a transformation from operating individually to working all together. Over the past few weeks, it has been a learning lesson for me to think about how the ATVN team can effectively share information and collaborate with other USC news teams to report the best possible story.

Sharing an assignment desk as well as combining morning meetings have helped us to expand our coverage and explore new ways to present news content on different platforms. As a big Annenberg Media team, we are even more engaged to discover news stories happening on and off campus because everyone, literally everyone, is brainstorming. I especially love the moment when someone throws out a pitch in the morning meeting and the rest of the team either looks up more information on their phone or helps to develop new angles or focuses. This convergence enables us to cover every feasible aspect of a story that comes from various outlet perspectives. 

The responsibility of a video producer is to provide and create all the video content for our shows. When I was producing today, I tried to look at each story from the perspective of every outlet in the Media Center. For example, for most footage I downloaded from CNN, I would talk to the Web and ARN producers to see if there was any other element that they needed. Sometimes when big news breaks out, such as the Sarkisian story last week, I also made sure to communicate with other producers in the Media Center before I send out a multimedia journalist. I realize that communication and the willingness to help each other are two of the best parts of convergence.

While we, as an Annenberg Media family, have accomplished a lot in exploring ways of convergence, I still believe there are improvements to be made. I noticed that even though the Media Center has physically gathered all the outlets in one working space, we are still publishing news content on separate online platforms. If there were one Facebook page that housed all of the updates for each Annenberg news outlet, it would definitely provide our audience with more comprehensive information with less overlap.

I also think the Trello program turns out to be less effective in sharing ideas and opinions on the stories in progress. To better communicate information, the white board should be used as a straightforward area for updates. Today, we listed out all the MJs’ names, phone numbers, shifts and story assignments on the board. This helped me to stay consistently informed on how people were working together to develop stories. 

As I reflect on today’s producing experience, I realize that there has been an increase of dialogue between outlets. Next week I am going to work as a lead producer in the assignment desk shared by ARN and Web. It’s a chance for me to practice convergence even more.

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