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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

What's New Today


Throughout this semester, we covered ongoing issues that lasted for days. For example, we covered the issues of Syria's chemical weapons, health care, government shutdown and Typhoon Haiyan. Since these are big stories that have new angles to them every day, we had to make sure the focus of the story has the most recent information.

Last month, most of the news outlets covered the governent shutdown for days. Since the topic is very broad and we cannot simply tell our audience that the government is still shut down, we had to look for new angles. One of the angles that ATVN did was the impact of the government shutdown on the veterans' death benefits. Throughout the government shutdown, we were constantly finding new angles and unique focuses for the story.

It is crucial to know the latest information for all major ongoing stories. During the morning meeting, it is insufficient to say, "Typhoon Haiyan" as a story idea. Serena will often ask us, "So what is new today?" It is not enough to say the story is still ongoing. We have to find specific angles we can take on the story.

Since we are a local news station, it is more interesting to take an ongoing national story like the government shutdown and to cover the story with a local angle. Our audience wants to know how the government shutdown is affecting them or people around them.

I was the lead producer today and was in charge of choosing the stories to include on tonight's newscast. One of the decisions I had to make was whether to include an update on Typhoon Haiyan as well as the tornado that hit the Midwest. Because I did not find any significant new information in the news wires and CNN Newsource, I decided not to include both of the stories. This was a tough decision because both are big stories that are still ongoing. However, I decided that unless new information came in for the stories, there would not be anything new to tell the audience.

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