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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Push the Limits

We did a live shot in the 1 p.m. show today! I was very happy to see how my idea worked out to show the L.A. wind and how it managed to add color to the content. As the semester goes by, I don't limit myself to only produce a “safe” show, but instead I think about creative ways to present news. I believe part of our job in the news industry is to inform, while another equally important part is to entertain. Therefore, it’s important for us to push the boundaries of what is possible in our newscasts to keep viewers interested. 

One thing I definitely want to see more is having our reporters or anchors use illustration tools that are available on the monitor. We did try to put reporters next to the monitor many times during the semester, but I think we are still underusing that technology. From my knowledge, the monitor is a smart TV where reporters can draw circles on a map, highlight words from a report and interact with our audience live on social media. Even if we don’t use the monitor as a smart board, we can still try to use it in different ways. We could show multiple maps in a row or create a sequence with different pictures to visually enhance a story. 

When I produced the “What’s New” today, I also wanted to have a multimedia journalist create a tease video and incorporate it as a mini-preshow. If possible, I would like to have MJs grab a camera and film people in a way that teases stories in the nightly newscast. They can also go into the edit bay to film video teammates editing videos or ask producers about the highlights in the 6 p.m. show. Then they can post the tease videos to Facebook. This semester, we have tried to raise the participation of our MJs by inviting them to host 1 p.m. shows, but this is definitely not the only way to keep them engaged. 

Finally, I think it will be great if we can make some of our routine segments interactive and lively. For example, instead of simply presenting cold numbers, we can make our stocks briefing more relevant by exploring financial aspects of the story. In addition, we can also move our weather report out of the studio and do a live forecast in front of Tommy Trojan. Adding more dynamic elements into our coverage is the best way to keep our viewers constantly interested. 

I can’t believe we only have one more show left. I think Thanksgiving week gives me a great opportunity to reflect on what I have accomplished and what I still need to improve. I hope I can push my limits again and produce a well-planned show for the last week. 

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