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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Don't Be A Follower, Be A Leader

Don’t be a follower, be a leader

One thing that I have learned these past two weeks as a producer is the importance of being a leader in the newsroom. Not being afraid of your thoughts or visions will lead you to work better as a teammate and as a producer. 

Last week, I started as video producer and to be honest, it was overwhelming at first. Being that person everyone comes up to and asks questions to was something that pushed me to be more confident in myself. Being a leader does not mean bossing people around; it means being someone who guides and listens to others. One thing I did on the first Monday of producing was get to know most of the MJs and start to build a relationship with them just to open a line of communication. If you have a good relationship with everyone in the newsroom, it makes it easier to work with them. That week I learned a lot from Julia Bakerink, who was lead producer. She knew every single detail of the show, but at the same time always asked us our thoughts and suggestions, which created an environment of unity and teamwork. 

Learning from Julia last week made me see the importance of being a good leader. This week as a lead producer, I put all that I learned from Julia into practice. Communication plays a huge role in leadership and makes the flow of the show more convenient for everybody. Running a show can be a lot to handle; luckily I was able to, with the help of my peers (shoutout to the EP Brad Streicher and all of the other producers) run the show successfully. WE were able to put on a good show that included the participation of everyone in the newsroom. When you have all of these qualities, not only will you be seen as an “inspiration” or role model for others, but people will also start taking you seriously. Being a leader isn’t just about you; it is about the collective work of individuals. Without a lead producer, there is no rundown or show; without the video producer, there are no videos; without a graphics producer there is no 1 p.m. show or graphics. Finally without reporters or MJs who will we interview? I learned that I have a lot to grow as a producer, but being respectful and having good communication with others will make me a good leader in the future.

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