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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Be Prepared

According to our class syllabus, our producing shift technically is from 8am-7pm, but some of the most important time spent producing is before I walk into the morning meeting at 8:15am. 

Before I enter into the newsroom every Tuesday, I have well-prepared myself for the most current news of the day. I begin my day at 5am and watch one hour of two local Los Angeles newscasts. Watching these newscasts gives me a good briefing of big current news stories. While doing so, I browse through Twitter to see what is trending at the moment and read through the budget on CNS to find local news. You think I am ready for my meeting? Think again! 

Even though I know what the current and trending stories are for the day, these are the stories of the morning. Our newscast is at 6pm! As a producer, I have learned that news is constantly changing and stories are constantly forming throughout the day. I need to be thinking of what will make each story we are doing exciting and different than another news outlet. Although the newscasts I watch are reporting on these big stories in the morning, I always try to push myself to think outside the box and find a unique way to tell a story or find a story that hasn’t been told before. I ask myself many questions like: "Who is someone no one has interviewed? Can I tell this story from a different angle that hasn’t been done? Is this the most current information? What would I like to find out?" 

It is easy to copy a story you watch on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, or any other news source you get your news from, BUT you have to put in effort to make your newscast something worth watching. It is exhausting, but trust me, it will make all the difference when you have a cool story that has exciting video, great interviews, and told in an effective way. 

So far Team Tuesday has done a good job with finding stories that are important to our USC audience. Every week we pitch a lot of ideas and it is always exciting to see what makes the cut for our show.  

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