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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

The Roller-coaster Effect

It is a journalist's job to provide a full newscast that will both inform and entertain their audience.

At the University of Southern California, one of my journalism professors taught me the importance of organizing stories so that they not only flow from one to the next, but so the level of interest keeps an audience from flipping the channel during a commercial break, this is called the Roller-coaster Effect.

All of the stories in your newscast should be timely and interesting, but there are always stories that seem to have more of a pull for viewers than others. These stories are a journalist's gold.

We are able to use these high-interest stories as a tool to encourage audiences to stay tuned throughout the entirety of the newscast by strategically spreading them out within the show, filling the space between with stories that may not be as intriguing to the specific demographic we are focused on.

As the web and graphics producer, I am able to utilize social media to attract our demographic (college students around the age of 20) by teasing the bigger or more interesting stories that will be featured in our newscast at 6 p.m.

By teasing the most interesting stories, I not only attract viewers to tune in to ATVN at 6, but encourage them to continue watching throughout the entire newscast in order to see these stories.

Another great way for the web and graphics producer to tease stories is to get our viewers involved and allow them to interact with the news. I utilize both Twitter and Facebook by promoting and teasing stories that we have written for the web so students can click in and read the stories that interest them and then continue to read related stories from the links we provide.

The role of web and graphics producer is extremely important to get viewers excited about our newscast by teasing stories. Teases are essential in attracting and keeping audience members in every newscast.

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