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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Three, Two, One...Cue

Now that its getting closer to the end of the semester, I feel everyone on Team Wednesday is getting more comfortable taking risks within our newscast. So far we have taken some interesting risks that haven’t panned out like trying a live Skype during the show with one of our sports reporters, but some other creative ideas have been more rewarding. 

This week we chose to have a live shot of our reporter, Ani Ucar, who was covering what impact Gov. Jerry Brown’s executive order would have on water usage across the USC campus. Ani was positioned in an area on campus that had very lush foliage in the background, which was an important element throughout her story. As far as cueing Ani when we were live, we had an amazing camera operator out in the field who did a great job at letting Ani know when she was on camera and when she needed to be reading her script in between soundbites. The delay in transmitting the signal live was hardly noticeable and the shot looked beautiful in the end. I’d call it a success! 

In class today, us producers were practicing live shots and got to experience some of the different positions that play a part in getting a live shot on air. I think I speak for everyone when I say that when conducting live shots, communication is key! There are a lot of factors that go into getting a live shot on air and if the team in the field, the team in the studio and the team in the control room are not communicating with one another, many elements can get lost in translation. Needless to say, miscommunication is bad…especially when the broadcast is live! Experiencing the other positions such as being out in the field gave me a better perspective of how to communicate with reporters when I am in the control room to keep confusion to a minimum. I also learned how important it is to call out changes to the director when producing, for instance if we lose a signal and want the director to throw back to the anchor. 

I hope throughout the rest of the semester to keep utilizing the technology we have to better present the news we gather to our audience. I want to hold back, however, from producing a live shot just for the sake of having a live shot. There are times where reporting live from a specific location can add another layer to a story, but if the story can be fronted just as well in front of the monitor in the studio, I would rather my reporter use graphics to tell the story and provide less distraction for the viewer. 

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