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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Mistakes To Be Made And Lessons To Be Learned

It’s impossible for me to think of only one lesson I’ve learned since being a producer at ATVN. Every day is a new experience and while I keep learning from my mistakes every week and try not to make them again, I have yet to have a day without a chance to learn and improve. Since each position involves different tasks, I have tried to narrow down the overarching lessons I have learned within each position to the three points that follow.

As lead producer, I’ve learned that it is important to plan far in advance, but never rely on that plan. It is extremely important to be flexible and willing to switch things up at a moments notice, because technology is tricky and the world is unpredictable. While it has helped me significantly to come into the morning meeting with an outline for the stories I want to cover and how I want them to be covered, there are always going to be instances where interviews fall through or videos are unusable. While it is important to be prepared and begin the day knowing what you want to be on air at 6, it's even more important to remain flexible and anticipate any changes that may arise. 

As video teammate, I’ve learned about the importance of remaining organized and levelheaded. The amount of tasks the video teammate has to balance can seem overwhelming at times, but I have learned it helps me to keep a list of what tasks have been done and what tasks are left to be finished. I've also learned that communication is key in making sure stories are executed correctly and therefore must be a proirity throughout the day to speak with my fellow producers to make sure no details fall through the cracks. Also, while the video teammate has to change focus constantly, it’s imperative to take the time to focus on each specific task at each particular moment to make sure the scripts are written clearly, the video is edited correctly and the audio levels are balanced. 

As graphics teammate, I’ve learned to make myself available to help pick up any slack wherever possible. Besides going through the rundown with a fine-toothed comb and making sure that we are constantly sharing the news with our audience through social media, I have learned to be another set of eyes and ears to help spot any missing details here and there. Having experienced every position has been very beneficial in understanding what oversight there is with the lead and video positions so that I can focus on those remaining tasks when I am the graphics teammate.    

While I have definitely had moments of panic throughout this semester about the content making it on air, the most valuable thing I have recognized is that we are all here to learn and to develop. Looking back on this semester, I notice a significant improvement in my ability to efficiently produce an informative and interesting broadcast since when I started. Although I still have much more learning to do as a producer, I am open to any opportunity I have in the future to continue to grow and develop. 

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