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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Small Team, Big Results


I'll admit that when I first saw the producing schedule I was less than thrilled. As I looked at Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday's teams I couldn't help but envy them. They had a full producing team of three every week and each job would be covered. Team Tuesday was going to be different. Producing a full 30-minute newscast with no prior experience was going to be hard enough, but with Evan and me each having to do the jobs of one and a half people to make up for being a two-person team, the task began seeming impossible. I became discouraged before I even started. While I had plenty of verbal encouragement from various professors, faculty advisors and former producers, I wasn't convinced I could do it. That was partially true. There is no way I would have been able to produce the show alone, but one of the greatest aspects of news production is that I did not have to.

Being part of a smaller producing team presents obvious challenges, but it can also offer more opportunities for the other members of our team. We may only have two producers on Tuesday, but we have an incredible executive producer, skilled reporters, helpful MJs and eager assignment desk editors, as well as strong graphics, web, and studio teams. Our team is much more than Evan and myself and it showed this week. MJs and reporters stepped up to help us get all the elements we could for our newscast. It was so exciting to see how they took ownership and responsibility of their stories. As a producer, it is very encouraging to see your team stepping up to help you out. It definitely helped keep me calm this week to know that I had so much support. 

For a team to be successful, each member has to bring out the best in the others. Evan and I began to develop that kind of relationship towards the end of our day. At 5:55 Evan timed the newscast and found we were light and didn't have enough video to put on the air. He called up a story we were planning to put on the website and trusted Rachel and me to write and edit this story last minute; literally, it had to be finished minutes before the show went live. What is most telling about this moment is that Evan had no reason to trust that I could get this done. We had only done one show together and we hadn't proven ourselves yet. I appreciated the confidence he had in me, and I was extremely proud of being able to get that last story loaded into the rundown before it was too late. 

This is only the beginning of Team Tuesday. Two weeks in and I have to say that I'm impressed with what we've been able to accomplish so far. Yes, we will make mistakes. Next week I will be taking over the role of lead producer and I expect that many of those mistakes will be my fault. One thing I promise myself and my team, however, is that I will learn from my mistakes. I will strive to be a better producer each week. Finally, I promise that I will never say "I can't" anymore. I can produce a newscast, I can do it with a slightly smaller team, and I will be working hard this semester to make sure that I can do it well. 

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