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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

LIVE from USC, It's ATVN


We see it in the movies all the time--a reporter delivers something live from the scene, usually fumbling over notes to report the latest developments in a particular story, and inevitably something out of the ordinary happens along the way.

Now that we're far along enough in the semester, we're beginning to explore the possibilities of doing live shots.  Our team hasn't yet done one, but we're exploring possibilities to do so.

Of course, that doesn't mean every single story warrants a live shot.  I've been of the opinion that, unless you're covering a crime scene, an election, or a high-speed chase, live shots seem forced.  That is to say, I feel like we do live shots for the sake of doing live shots.  If there isn't a good, compelling reason to do a live shot, I won't do one.  If there isn't anything interesting going on in the background while we go live, I don't want to do one.  In short, I don't want to plop a reporter in the middle of the Ronald Tutor Campus Center when there's only a tangentially related story (i.e., an event taking place at said Campus Center) and then have her throw to a video sequence if I can help it.

But then, if I want to increase the quality of these live shots, I then have to ask myself--will there still be newsworthy material by the time we get to the location of the proposed live shot?  Will there still be the interesting visuals that I want by the time we get to where we need to be?  Will there be a sound connection so we can get the live shot in the first place?

Then again, I suppose a live shot is more dynamic than the studio--no offense to our anchors, but you know how they say variety is the spice of life.  And it ultimately requires a little spark of creativity to make these things happen.

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