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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Advice for Producing


As you embark on this producing journey, there are some things you are going to have to learn and experience for yourself. We could tell you countless times the importance of backup scripts for liveshots, but you won't know for yourself until you're faced with the panic and madness of a liveshot falling through. We could lecture you on communication, but you may realize the importance of talking to your MJs when you have a vo about tanks in libya and the video is rockets going off in a desert. The ride you are about to go on is a wild one, and I hope the advice I can offer you will help.

First of all, in those first couple classes and meetings when you get all those handouts and go over the basics of producing... pay attention! And... hold on to those handouts! There is so much crucial information in those first few days that you need to grasp and you will not be able to produce your show without it. I listened but since I'm a hands-on learner, learn from doing and have extreme ADD I figured I would just learn it when I did it. Then I found myself completely lost during my first shift. So listen carefully, pay close attention, and read and re-read and re-read the handouts.

Which brings me to my second point, know your responsibilities and don't count on anyone else to do them. You can read about what you're supposed to do in the handouts you get in class. I went into my first show as lead producer without having written the welcome. I should have looked over the handouts and the producer timeline that is written on the door and posted on most of the computers that clearly says, "Fill in anchors, write teases, write welcome, etc." It can be easy to get overwhelmed throughout the day, so keep track of your duties and make sure you're getting them done.

Lastly, in the midst of all the newsroom hustle bustle, there are some really special moments. Enjoy them.

Thanks for a great semester!

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