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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Live Shots: The Show must Go On


This week I tried my first live shot (Monday has already had one liveshot, but unfortuneately I had switched producing shifts that week and wasn't a part of it).  Well, to sum up Monday's show in one word: stressful. 

I was so sure that the live shot would be perfect.  The day as a whole ran quite smoothly.  I was done with all my lead producing tasks early, and we had been able to run through the live shot a few times.  I figured we were good to go.

Unfortunately, the live shot cut out (of course) during the actual news cast.  I thought I had properly prepared my anchors with a back up script to read just in the instance this happened.  Well, my anchors weren't wearing there ear pieces, so when I told them to continue with out back up plan, they didn't hear me.  Therefore, this lead to an awkward pause in the news cast.

This was a frustrating moment for me.  I am very passionate about journalism, producing and ATVN.  I wanted this segment and the live shot to run perfectly.  I felt that I had worked hard all day (as did my teammates) to ensure we got enough run-throughs in so that nothing could go wrong.  When the live shot failed the first time around, something happened that I didn't expect--I got extremely emotional and actually started crying.  This is totally uncharacteristic of me. (I didn't even cry when I broke up with my ex-boyfriend of 2.5 years.)  I'm not a very emotional person.  Well, I realized through this incident that certain situations definitely spark my emotional side.  I guess I just felt so frustrated that I had let my news team down and had worked too hard to watch the news cast fall apart.  I just broke down.

Thanks to a few wise words from a wise professor (wink wink), I learned that I can't control everything that happens during a news cast.  The fact that the live shot cut out during the show wasn't in my power to prevent.  However, what was in my power was the ability to properly prepare my news team with a back up plan.  The back up script wasn't printed until the very last moment before the show.  I also never checked to make sure all the anchors were wearing their ear pieces.  These are all little things that could have made that awkward moment a little less noticeable. 

Next time, the back up is going to be the first thing we run through.  I will make sure the I have the scripts written and printed far in advance to prevent any issues if the live shot falls through. 

I'm taking the positive from this situation--you can only learn from your mistakes!  And no matter what, the show must always go on.

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