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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

The Developmental Process

It is amazing to see how much a story idea can develop from the time it is pitched in the morning meeting to the time our show airs at 6 o'clock. By working together as a team, we can take a story and look at it from so many different perspectives, which ideally gives the story more interest to a wider range of viewers.

In the morning meeting, after we first sit down and list off all of the possible story ideas for our nightly newscast in the simplest fashion, we begin bouncing ideas off of each other, contributing various angles, and finding interview sources to fulfill expert opinions, local or student reactions, and even national and international individuals who may have something to contribute to the developing story.

By the time I sat down in my chair as the Video Producer, I had already sent out several MJs to local stories unfolding early in the day, and I immediately began searching for SOTs and B-roll that could further round out some of the stories that we were unable to go out and film ourselves due to distance.

Using Bit Central, I was able to order video footage to help develop stories such as Whitney Houston's casket arriving in New Jersey for a private funeral at her hometown church, violence in Syria, and some fun Valentine's Day related kickers including a romantic plane ride service on the "Love Amelia."

Throughout the day we have to float stories from our newscast, or find new, creative ways to get their messages across to our audience because of a lack of video footage or in-person interview sources. We use full screen graphics to give a visual aspect to written quotes, as well as Skype and telephone interviews when local sources are unavailable. We have also used social media in our newscast to get a variety of responses to specific issues such as celebrity tweets which can also be made into a full screen graphic.

The developmental process is undoubtedly a group effort of all of the producers. We communicate between the three of us to come up with different angles on each element of our newscast and are constantly looking for updates on existing stories, or breaking news pieces throughout the day of our shift.

Sitting in the studio at 6 o'clock when our show goes live, it is such a rush to see all of our hard work in developing these stories from just a couple of words in a cut-line written on the whiteboard to something that can take up a significant chunk of our newscast with so many different contributing elements.


Details count! The correct name of the workflow is Bitcentral, not Bit Central.

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