Skip navigation
Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Paying It Forward


American writer Brandon Mull once said, "Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others." I've made mistakes. I've seen what works and what doesn't. I've tried new things that have fallen flat on air.

And sure, learning to produce a show definitely gets easier as you learn from your mistakes. But there is definitely some advice worth sharing that may make the job of future 403 producers as easy as my last Wednesday was. 

1. Make the newsroom an enjoyable place to be. In the midst of essays, other classes and work, having to dedicate a full day of your week to ATVN can seem like a burden. But by the end of the semester I was looking forward to Wednesdays because I loved who I was working with. If you don't know your producing teammates, get to know them. There is no guideline saying the newsroom has to be a rigid place, so long as the work gets done. We would find ourselves laughing hysterically at funny graphics and enjoyed playing music. Find what works for your team. 

2. Use your EP, they are a resource. After my first week at ATVN, I actually thought I would have to endure mini panic attacks every week. Luckily, this is not the case. The number of responsiblities you have as a producer may seem overwhelming at first but ask for help! And just know that you'll get the hang of it. 

3. Try new things! Don't wait until your last week as lead producer to try a liveshot, put an anchor at the chromakey, or do a stand-up tease. All of these work really well if they are done right so get creative and ask Stacy for advice on how to execute a new idea. 

When it comes to putting a newscast together, practice really does make perfect (or close to it). This past week, my producing team had almost all of our video online over an hour before our show and got to enjoy our last moments of glory relaxing to John Travolta and Olivia Newton-Johns new Christmas music video. 

To think that I almost didn't take this class...I had debated back and forth on whether or not I should take this class over another one, and to be honest, the time I had to put in at ATVN had me on the fence. But in the end, producing truly turned out to be the highlight of my semester. The skills I've learned are applicable far beyond the newsroom and I will always have this class to thank for building my foundation. 

Leave a comment

We've Moved!

By Sam Bergum
01/21/16 | 11:09 a.m. PST

Visit us at!

USC Basketball Knocks Off Rival UCLA 89- 75

By Scott Cook
01/14/16 | 12:05 a.m. PST

USC defeats UCLA with stellar play from their Freshmen. 

Holiday Bowl - USC vs Wisconsin Post-Game Press Conference

Su'a Cravens: "It's the players that need to step up"

Darreus Rogers: "It comes down to the players"

Trojans Fall to Wisconsin in the Holiday Bowl 23-21

We detected that you might be on a mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone. Sorry, at this time the video box is only visible on desktop computers.