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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Full Speed Ahead

I still remember the first time I sat down as video teammate. It was exciting! I chose to start there for a reason. I wanted to interact with the MJs and remind all the underclassman exactly why I love spending all my time at ATVN.

That was six weeks ago. Now, I've had a run with every position on the producing team. But when it comes to goals, some things never change. And as much as we'd like to think we're doing enough, sometimes it's better to over communicate.

For the rest of the semester, I hope to be more clear and concise when it comes to giving directions. Being a great communicator spans all three producing positions and includes all other positions as well.

As an anchor, reporter or MJ, you must communicate before you head out and while you're out on the field. Producers need to do the same by informing them before they leave and keeping in touch while they're covering the story.

In the studio, it's up to the floor director to communicate with the anchors, the director to communicate to the camera operators and studio crew members and the producers to notify everyone when there's a change in the rundown.

Specifically, when it comes to being video teammate, you must talk to your MJs constantly, keep checking up on them and forwarding all necessary information to the other two producers. The lead needs to know what SOTs we have and what Broll we can use. The graphics need to know which screen grabs are available and which full screens have been written.

The graphics and web teammate needs to talk to the lead to decide the trending topic, talk to the video teammate to put videos or screen grabs on to the web and clearly indicate what each graphic and OTS is.

Finally, the lead needs to make sure the rundown is clear. He or she must let the video teammate know exactly what she wants in the script, the video and the SOT.

Tuesday was my second time being lead. This time, I asked the video teammate to make a list of all the bit central footage she was grabbing. I then asked her to put together a brief description of each video, so we could constantly reference the list throughout the day.

This week, I also made sure to put everything in the notes column. For VSVs, I specifically indicated what I wanted in the first and second VO as well as what I wanted in the SOT. I also gave a brief description of what I wanted in the script.

Working with the video teammate, we briefed each other every time an MJ came back. As lead, I didn't just have to create a rundown, I had to know what was going in it!

In the beginning, when the newsroom wasn't as busy, everything ran smoothly. But as crunch time came rolling around, communication became more important than ever. Which brings me back to my goal: to be clear and concise when giving directions.

Compared to when I was lead the first time three weeks ago, I've already learned to be a better communicator. But there is still so much more work to do. Sometimes it takes more than reminders in the notes column to make sure things get done. Producers need to talk to each other directly.

After we coem back from spring break, I'll be the web and graphics teammate. Last time, I wasn't always clear when it came to telling the art director exactly what I wanted. In two weeks, I vow to reach the goals I've made today.

Sometimes as producers, we're so busy we lose track of what's happening around us. But if we provide clear direction, hopefully, that will lead little room for error or miscommunication.

Team Tuesday has so many great volunteers and core students every week. I really could not ask for a better anchor team or studio crew. Our MJs always ask the right questions before they head out and deliver when they're in the field. If we keep up the good work and continue to strive toward our goals, we possibilities are limitless. Full speed ahead Team Tuesday! Here's to six more weeks of student produced local news.

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