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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Stay Confident, ATVN Producer


A wise man once said to me, "confidence is the rarest commodity in the world, treasure it." 

If had to give one piece of advice to an incoming producer, it would be maintain your confidence. After producing 11 shows and working on countless others doing various jobs, it's clear that the role of producer is a judgment-driven position.  It requires a keen sense of morality, with a inkling into what is naturally important to everyday people in the community.  

Most times, it's not on the producer to do the reporting or talk with subjects, but rather to take the day's interviews and value one individual's story over another. These choices are instinctive; they are split-second reactions to what you find to be important in a story. As each element is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, it bceomes difficult to teach how to decide what matters. Nonetheless, these decisions are what make up a person's news judgment, and the better your news judgment, the better your show will be.  

In my humble opinion, news judgment is learned through bullishly headstrong discussions between a producer and his/her peers or supervisors. Each player stands up for his/her opinion on the story's worthiness, with one voice providing a strong enough argument to make a sound decision.  

Why the argument? Put simply, it's easy to be passive at the producer's desk. Somebody can tell you something should move in the broadcast, that something isn't newsworthy, or that you're missing key stories.  Over this semester, I've found that if I don't stand behind my decisions with confidence, my newscast will become a mess of unorganized stories, with no clear direction or personality.  As a producer, I must realize that I represent my station's news judgment and voice, and it is up to ME to decide if any aspect of the show does or does not belong.  

As the producer, it's your head on the line. Whether you're planning on succeeding with grace or going down in flames, at least do it with confidence in the decisions you've made. It will make you a better leader, better producer and better judge of newsworthiness.

Hey, isn't that why I signed up for this class in the first place? 

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