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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Come Together, Right Now

Since moving from the old ATVN newsroom to the new multimedia center, it's been a learning lesson for us students at the various outlets about how we can effectively share coverage and help each other report stories to the best of our abilities. While the old newsroom was specifically for ATVN and was much more intimate in its size, the new media center expands both the spacial boundaries of ATVN, as well our capabilities of reporting. In certain instances, it has been very beneficial to send both an ATVN reporter and a Neon Tommy reporter out in the field together on the same story to help cover all angles that a story may have as well as to help the students learn from one another about the various differences in reporting for each medium. 

We at ATVN also work very closely with Annenberg Radio News in sharing sound that we record out in the field. This week, we shared sound with ARN from all three packages we had reporters cover. These stories included pressure toward the LAPD to hire a private prosecutor to investigate the use of deadly force on Skid Row, a family that is suing the LAPD after a 15 year old boy was shot in the back by an officer, as well as the disparity of the number of african american construction workers on some job sites in Los Angeles. Since we already had ATVN reporters assigned to these stories, it was much more efficient to not double up and send ARN reporters. Convergence helps us not become spread so thin so that we are able to instead send journalists to many more events and therefore cover more stories throughout the day for our day-of-air broadcast. 

While I think ATVN has become better at communicating with the other outlets within the media center this semester, I still believe there are many improvements that can be made to help converge our resources. If there was a formal Facebook post for all of the Annenberg news outlets, including all ATVN, ARN and Neon Tommy students, it would help us to better find and utilize sources for specific stories as well as coordinate our reporting so that we don't have people from each outlet stepping on each other’s toes.

Improving the communication of all students through a converged site would also hopefully decrease the possibility of mistakes in our practices since there would be many more people cross referencing and verifying the information that has been gathered. This would also allow for the possibility of students from different outlets to pick up stories reported by the other outlets. For example, if an interesting story that is developing is posted on Neon Tommy on Monday, ATVN would be able to know sooner than later and begin to further investigate that story to then broadcast an extensively developed package later in the week. This would also not only converge the various outlets on a specific day, but would converge students involved in the various outlets at all times. 

While I understand that the use of Trello is meant to help with convergence in the newsroom, I find this specific platform to be less effective in sharing ideas and comments apart from the stories that have already been decided upon. I feel that having a group that would provide more interaction and questioning would be beneficial in pushing each other to think creatively as well as remain fair in our reporting.  

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