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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Seeking Perfection

As the web/graphics teammate you have to make sure that you account for all the tiny details. Did you add the reporter’s name in the author line of a story they did? Did you remember to re-weight stories after publishing new ones? Did you crop out the black bars from a screen shot for an OTS? All of these are examples of minute details that if taken into account make your newscast and website look tight, clean, and professional.


Every week we get a web critique stressing productivity and details. The key to making sure all of the tiny details are accounted for is habit. It’s important that you develop a system for creating and publishing stories and that you get in the habit of following that system exactly the same way every time. By doing this you will make it easier on yourself to make sure all of the details are accounted for. Doing it over and over again, the same way every time, will limit the amount of mistakes you make.


One minute detail that I have continuously had trouble remembering was to put at least three related stories at the bottom of a new story. In my haste to publish stories I would forget this detail. Ultimately Robbie helped me out and reminded me, but for anyone who went to those stories early in the morning there was no interactive element to them. Who knows, my forgetting that detail could have led to decreased traffic on our website.


Our viewers expect a certain style and congruity when they view the website or watch the newscast. If one person makes one mistake on a story that’s easily identified by the viewer, it makes all of ATVN look unprofessional and sloppy. That is why it is vital that people develop a comprehensive system to check all of the tiny details and get into a habit of following that system. Unfortunately people have a harder time remembering when you don’t make a mistake than when you do. That is why perfection is always the goal. 

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