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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California


The most exciting part about news is that you never know what will happen next. This rush drives my passion for this industry. 

As a reporter, hearing breaking news and big stories is exhilarating. 


People swarm around the video wall intently listening to the next thing Athletic Director Pat Haden will say hiring and firing Sark. 


Sending out twitter blasts to find a student at Umpqua Community College after hearing a mass shooting just killed nine students on campus. 


Tracking CNN’s video feed on Newsource to find the latest video on the Pope’s historic visit to America.

If you are lucky…I mean REALLY lucky…cause let’s remember you never know what will happen in a news room on any given day…sometimes the news will break in enough time to gracefully prepare for the show. But, sometimes it will not.  

If there is not much time to dilly dally and decisions must be made very quickly, communication is key. Producers need to make sure MJs and Reporters know exactly what video or interview to get or what information to find by calling on the phone. MJs and Reporters need to keep their producers updated with where they are at in their work. With everyone running in and out of the edit bay and producers screaming over their computers to their teammates, the media center can get hectic. Keeping constant communication can simmer down this chaos. 

For the 1pm show, big stories will obviously not be developed as much as they are for the 6pm. But, the 1pm show is meant to give an update on what we know right now at that exact moment. It can also be used as a teaser for what viewers can look forward to in the 6pm. 

Social media is a great tool to get big stories out fast. It takes a lot longer to shoot, edit and post video than typing a few character tweet to get information to viewers. 

As a producer, I now know that big stories can take up a majority of your rundown. And the angle does not have to solely focus on what is happening at that specific place. A big story can be broken down into many different angles and pieces. Sometimes, the story can even take a USC angle. This helps our newscast go in-depth on the story rather than just focusing on it at the surface level and reiterating information that viewers probably got from twitter a few hours ago.

Big stories definitely create stress and chaos in the newsroom. There is even more stress if breaking news happens close to airtime. Although it gives me grey hairs and high blood pressure every time, this is what makes this business so fun. 

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