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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Engage Audience with Multidimensional Coverage

I think everyone in the media industry can agree that story ideas are at the heart of every newscast or publication. The fundamentals of journalism are based in strong story ideas and development, and that is no different here at ATVN. This week my role was web and graphics producer on Wednesday. Heading into my day of air after being lead producer the past two weeks, I was hoping it would be slightly less hectic being in charge of the website and graphics for the show. However, I quickly realized that each producing role, whether it be lead, graphics and web, or video producer are all crucial to the newscast and carry an equal amount of weight and responsibility.

Story pitches and development are key for each producer and can make or break a newscast. Viewers will not tune into the newscast or stay tuned past the first story or two if the stories do not have a strong backbone. There are many factors that go into making a compelling, accurate and relevant story for a broadcast newscast, including formatting, use of graphics, choices of soundbites, video used, and much more. The same can be said for a website, in our case, You have to make sure a story is engaging, factual, and easy to read to ensure that people who visit the website will click on a story and read it in its entirety.

Wednesday was a special day for Annenberg TV News and the entire Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism as well-- It was the grand opening of the new Wallis Annenberg Hall. Preparation before our day of air show was important and the entire producing team knew we wanted to have the best possible coverage of a monumental day for the Annenberg School. Andrew, Michelle, Kate and I communicated earlier in the week to make sure we had solid story ideas developed and had a strong idea of what we wanted to include in our coverage. During the morning meeting, I thought everyone did a great job of contributing to not only pitching story ideas but also to the development of the way we wanted to cover certain aspects of the grand opening and ceremony.

For me as a web and graphics producer, it was crucial to think about how those attributes could be translated onto the website. I also worked on staying active on ATVN’s social media sites including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. During such a historic day for Annenberg, it was important to be actively posting on social media so people who were not present at the event could stay up to date on what was happening and also see how ATVN was covering the grand opening.

Graphics was probably the most challenging part of my duties on Wednesday. Creating graphics that portray the content of a story in a clear, concise and interesting way is difficult, but for me, coming up with a 2-3 word ‘cutline’ was the hardest part.

At the end of the day, it was rewarding to see a newscast that covered several unique aspects of the grand opening air live at 6pm, and it was also great to see the homepage of displaying relevant and interesting multimedia stories. I also enjoyed promoting our coverage on social media because it is probably the easiest way to reach a broad and diverse audience and make them interested in the many great things ATVN is working on. 

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