Skip navigation
Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Choosing a Lead Story


Our producing team chose to lead the broadcast with a package on the Bell trial. Our other options were a package on the Huffington Post deal or something on the Conrad Murray hearing, but we went with Bell because it's local and involves scandal and public officials. We sent a reporter out early to cover it and were anticipating a package with court b-roll and reaction from Bell residents. We thought if we could get these elements that it would be a strong lead because of the news elements of prominence, proximity, timeliness and conflict, so we started building our show around this.

Everything changed when we heard back from our reporter at 3, just three hours before we go live. She said she didn't have any resident reaction nor enough footage for a package. We all freaked out a bit, but we knew we could lead with the Huffington Post package, as that had been our lead producer's plan b all along. Luckily, our reporter ended up coming back from Bell with b-roll AND resident reaction, so we were able to go back to our original plan and lead with her package. The problem was that in the rush of getting ready to go live some editing mistakes were made, and the package didn't air as smoothly as it might have with more time or preparation. But as a producer I was happy to see our plan followed through from start to finish even with all the bumps along the way.

Leave a comment

We've Moved!

By Sam Bergum
01/21/16 | 11:09 a.m. PST

Visit us at!

USC Basketball Knocks Off Rival UCLA 89- 75

By Scott Cook
01/14/16 | 12:05 a.m. PST

USC defeats UCLA with stellar play from their Freshmen. 

Holiday Bowl - USC vs Wisconsin Post-Game Press Conference

Su'a Cravens: "It's the players that need to step up"

Darreus Rogers: "It comes down to the players"

Trojans Fall to Wisconsin in the Holiday Bowl 23-21

We detected that you might be on a mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone. Sorry, at this time the video box is only visible on desktop computers.