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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Extra, Extra!

As we head into our last and final broadcast of the semester, it’s important that we as producers now aim to go beyond the norm. It’s easy to give anyone straight news, but what will make our broadcast stand out and leave viewers feeling well informed? Well, it’s all in the creative extras we can add to our newscast. That often means thinking beyond the standard setup and focusing on what we can do to best convey this information and give complete coverage of a story.

The past few weeks, I think we’ve done just that. For instance with our coverage of the protests at the University of Missouri (Mizzou), we included many local elements. By the time the Thursday newscast came around, it was already three days after the initial resignation of the university president. But the day of our newscast, USC students held a rally in solidarity with Mizzou. So, we put a reporter on the rally, and she expanded her focus to student activism across college campuses. Around 3pm, we got word that the USC rally sparked an evening meeting with university leaders, and we planned to cover that meeting live. By the start of our show at 6pm, we opened with a live shot from the meeting, went to our reporter’s package of the student rally, and then ended our coverage with an update from Mizzou, where the university announced their interim president. For me, this was a good example of including extra elements to localize and expand upon a national story.

While full coverage is important, it is also important to be more dynamic in the presentation of our stories. When finalizing the rundown, it becomes almost second nature to simply include the standard voice over for your teases and have your anchors read from the desk. Looking forward, I hope to help facilitate more movement within the show, especially with our anchors and reporters. This is something in particular that I think we could do a better job of executing. By adding such elements and providing great coverage, I think we’ll be well on our way to having the best show of the year!

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