Skip navigation
Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Aspiring Reporter Takes Behind-The-Scenes Seat

Since my senior year in high school, I knew I wanted to be an on-air reporter. Megyn Kelly became my home girl. I wanted to be a network correspondent jumping on planes to cover stories for the whole nation to watch. I mean, how cool does it sound to get paid to be a storyteller?? My passion for reporting continues to grow after internships at new stations and reporting shifts at ATVN. Until this year, I was pretty closed minded about what skills I wanted to obtain before working in the real world. But, after producing two live 30-minute newscasts, I am so happy I am learning how to produce before graduation. In two weeks, I noticed producing is helping with my creativity and presentation of news. Working this position will make me a better reporter because every time I go out on a story, I will now think about how it could best be told for television.

At first, producing a 30-minute newscast was intimidating. As a reporter at ATVN, I only needed to worry about getting my story in on time. But, as a producer, I need to worry about getting ALL the material in by 6PM.

It seemed like a daunting task. But, after my first production shift as lead producer, I knew this semester was going to be so much fun because of my amazing team. (Shout out to Dream Team Tuesday!) John always says, “This is your show. This show can not be put on without you.” I now know these words could not be more correct. I could not pull off this newscast without my production partners, EP, MJs, reporters and anchors.

Team Tuesday is very hard working and talented. But, this show cannot be done successfully without communication. My production teammates and I need to communicate with each other, with the MJs and with the reporters to make sure all material is being covered and completed in time for the live show. By the second week, our team was better about communication. We decided to meet several times during the shift to see what video is missing and what tasks we can assign to MJs.

Most of the time, communication with the Tuesday team went smoothly. However, lack of full communication between producers and MJs sometimes hurt us near show time.

Something I need to work on in the coming weeks is being very clear to MJs about what they need to do when they work on a story. I think I assume too much and think the MJ just knows what to do. But, since it is the first few weeks of live shows, people are still learning. So, when I ask an MJ to work on Premiere and put together a SOTVO, I need to make sure the MJ knows what SOT to choose and what videos to use. Sometimes, I was not clear on these tasks so SOTVOs did not match the script or angle of the story.

On the flip side, there were times when there was little communication from the MJ to the producer. A few times this week, we realized close to show time some videos were not in but we assigned an MJ to edit the video a while ago. When we looked in Premiere, we found unfinished projects from MJs. MJs left because their shift ended but did not tell a producer that someone still needed to complete it. This turned into a mad scramble of producers frantically editing on Premiere with minutes till 6PM. This scramble included some yelling out the door of the edit bay to the studio to see if the video was online. Although this was very stressful, this did create some exciting adrenaline.

As a reflection, I think everyone can always improve on communication when working on content for the show.These two weeks have been a total learning process. But, I have an amazing team to go through this with. I cannot wait to see how much we improve as a team from production newbies to top notch, hirable pros.

Leave a comment

We've Moved!

By Sam Bergum
01/21/16 | 11:09 a.m. PST

Visit us at!

USC Basketball Knocks Off Rival UCLA 89- 75

By Scott Cook
01/14/16 | 12:05 a.m. PST

USC defeats UCLA with stellar play from their Freshmen. 

Holiday Bowl - USC vs Wisconsin Post-Game Press Conference

Su'a Cravens: "It's the players that need to step up"

Darreus Rogers: "It comes down to the players"

Trojans Fall to Wisconsin in the Holiday Bowl 23-21

We detected that you might be on a mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone. Sorry, at this time the video box is only visible on desktop computers.