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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Behind-The-Scenes Stars

Everyone in the media center is valuable, but each week there are a few people who go above and beyond what is expected of them. Some of them may not even realize their extra push of effort really makes the difference in our final product. 

Over the course of the semester, Team Wednesday's MJs, reporters, and assignment desk editors have become increasingly more secure in their roles, and many have found their niche and stuck to it. Others, however, have reached outside of their comfort zones to try new things. 

One of our reporters, Kelly Reinke, pushes every single week to do better than the last. She is committed to her stories, which can really make or break a package. At the beginning of the day, she comes into the media center with an open mind, and a lot of ambition. From there, she sets out to get the story, and she always listens to us, the producers, when we ask her to focus on a specific angle. Once she returns from the field, she quickly gets to work and drafts her script, and her editing process is very timely. Even though it can be challenging to plan, shoot, write, and edit a package in just one day, she always delivers quality work. She is confident, yet very willing to take advice and feedback. Her determination makes her a pleasure to work with every week. 

There are many more MJs than reporters, and as an MJ once myself, I know it can be easy to get lost among the crowd sometimes. Nevertheless, we do have a few MJs who are extremely responsible and reliable. One of these MJs is Rachel Kohn, who works in the afternoon. Later shifts can be stressful, because you can sometimes be dumped with all the loose ends that no one finished. Rachel, though, takes on these tasks with ease and never complains about the amount of work we assign her. We definitely depend on her to wrap up editing in order for our show to make air, and I know personally, I tell her how thankful I am all the time. 

Another outstanding MJ I have the pleasure of working with is Kristen Lago. It is not easy being an MJ with a car, as I know all too well, but she is always enthusiastic about going out into the field and getting some of the early stories for the newscast. She is also very efficient; she will go out to shoot, come back to import her footage, and start writing her story, all in only four hours. She also checks in with the producers before she leaves to make sure everyone knows where she left off, which is extremely helpful when handing over the story. She is a go-getter, and definitely makes my job as a producer a little easier.

Assignment desk editors also make a tremendous difference in the show, especially the ones who come to the morning meeting with ideas. From there, they get to work on making phone calls and doing research, and it makes the day so much smoother when the assignment desk editors are persistent in receiving information. One of our morning assignment desk editors, Ellie, is always finding us contacts for interviews and thoroughly inquiring every lead we give her. Many of our stories start with the assignment desk editors, so it is very refreshing to have someone at the desk who is fully dedicated to her duties. 

Team Wednesday has some amazing workers, and whether they have class requirements or they are volunteering, most show up each week with a smile and a desire to work hard. They may not be the people in the studio at 6 p.m., but they are definitely the superstars of the show.  

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