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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Pranked. Punked. Played.

They say you should becareful what you wish for. This week, Team Tuesday wished to lead their newscast with a huge announcement. An announcement that we knew nothing about. An announcement that turned out to be a huge prank.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch for yourself. Now that we're all up to speed, why did Team Tuesday decide to include this prank in their newscast? Better yet, how was something like this a lead story?

If you looked at any of the other stations that were there, no one else decided to even include the story in their show. People were upset and disappointed. And while we too expected a spectacular announcement about the future of USC, the fact that the media was pranked WAS the story.

Putting this as our lead is valuable to our audience because our audience is USC. As the university's first source for news, we want to try and find a local angle to everything we do. Better yet, we want to find a USC angle to everything we do.

Often times, our newscast relies on experts and MOS interviews. Say it's the presidential election, who are the students voting for? What student organizations are in support of which candidate? What are USC's political parties doing in support? Our audience cares about big stories such as an election, but they want to hear from their peers as well.

Sometimes covering certain stories can be difficult. Not everything has a USC angle and not everyone cares about North Korea's nuclear threats that seem to reappear every Tuesday. But our job is to cover what's important and have our demographic in mind.

Just because we can't send someone to Venezuela, doesn't mean we won't cover Hugo Chavez. We're a CNN affiliate and we must use the resources we do have to present the information we know students want.

We're best at finding that local angle and we're even better at including the Trojan family. So while other stations may be upset over the prank, we embraced it for what it is. We led our newscast. And, as far as I know, no one else did the same.

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