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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

The Next Generation of Producers

First things first, take a deep breath. This producing class isn’t as scary as you might think. I was probably one of the few people this semester who was EXTREMELY excited for this class. I always knew that I wanted to produce, but until this class, I wasn’t entirely sure of what responsibilities that would include. This class will teach you a lot about producing, from building a rundown to managing MJs, and you will be fine if you work hard.

In honor of our last week of shows, I want to share some bits of advice that may help you going into next semester.

1) Brush up on your skills before run-through week. If that means taking the iNews workshop, then do it. If that means taking the editing workshop, then do it. Whatever area you may be a little rusty in, it is important to brush up before the shows start so that you are able to take care of all of your tasks efficiently and help MJs with any issues they may have. I wish I had done this myself so I could have been more prepared in the first few weeks of producing.

2) Organization is so so so important. It is crucial that you stay on top of everything in the rundown, who is working on what, what difficulties reporters are facing, the status of interviews, etc. I found it helpful to keep a notebook and constantly update my to-do list throughout the day. The Thursday team also did a good job of keeping the notes column updated during the day. Whatever works for you, just make sure to keep yourself and the show organized.

3) Communication is essential. If everyone on your team is on the same page, everything will go a lot smoother throughout the day. Our team found it helpful to have a couple of producer meetings each day to go through the rundown and discuss the progress of each story. It is also helpful to tell each of the producers when something changes with a story. Find what method is the best for your group and keep each other updated throughout the day so you are ready when it’s time to go on the air.

Brushing up on skills, staying organized, and remembering to communicate are three of the best tips I can give you as you head into next semester. However, the most important thing I will tell you is to have fun with this class. This class will challenge you and teach you a lot so use it as an opportunity to grow and try new things. Yes, it won’t always be fun waking up at 5 A.M. but watching your show go on the air will make it all worth it. So keep an open mind and remember that this class is a great learning experience. Lastly, I will say good luck and try to get as much as you can out of this class.

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