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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

The Show Must Go On

Before taking Television News Production, my plan was to go back to China and pursue TV production in the entertainment industry. While there exist differences in topics, languages and culture between the U.S and China, the producing experience of this class is teaching me lessons that can be applied to any position I find myself in. 

Credit to Flickr
Credit to Flickr

One of the most invaluable experiences I have had is learning how to manage a team of people and be a good team player at the same time. Communication is the key. As a producer, I should talk to my MJs frequently and tell them exactly what I need. I got lucky having Kelly and Brad as my team leaders as they are always on top of things when I ask them for help. Putting clear notes in iNews can also make the production process smoother.  In addition, better communication with my teammates helps to create a positive envrionment for my team. Beyond just giving out instructions or teaching new editing skills, I am learning to lead MJs by having a positive attitude when I deal with the daily challenges at ATVN.  

I also learned to stay organized and keep track of multiple moving parts at the same time. I love the idea of creating things from scratch and being a part of every step along the way. Now I will write everything down on a piece of paper whenever I hear back from reporters about their progress. These notes make it easier for me to explain the rundown to anyone having questions. They also help me to track the missing elements. 

But sometimes things don’t go as planned. There are always bumps on the road of producing when a story or a segment doesn’t proceed as expected. These obstacles not only challenge a producer’s ability to keep calm, but also force him/her to figure out how to deal with the situation and find a way to make it better. Given that producing a 30-minute newscast is full of such challenges, I am really trained to be sharp, collected and decisive. Today, we have five packages in the show. At 5:30 when I saw most of the reporters were still struggling putting stories together, I decided to put in all the CGs and TRTs for them and stay in the edit room until the last story was exported. 

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