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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Quality in the Details

The quality of a newscast can draw in and keep viewers, which is crucial, even for a college television station.

We want ATVN’s name to be associated with top-notch journalism and that starts and ends with the details.

The details are what make or break the stories, and if the details are wrong, the credibility of your newscast is gone. Similarly, if details are missing, your newscast also loses some of its quality.

However, if the details are right, plentiful, and relate to your audience, then the quality of the newscast is superior.

As a producer, I work hard to create a newscast that is relevant to the viewer and has quality stories that USC students should know about and are interested in.

I do this in a number of ways:

Check the facts
As the semester has gone on, I have become better about adding details to my stories. I never write a story without consulting the wire because when it comes to news, your credibility is truly important. While I have had a professional journalist tell me before that sometimes it's okay to sacrifice accuracy for immediacy, I still believe that in this digital age accuracy is of utmost importance. Therefore, I work hard to make sure each story I write and copy edit not only has the correct facts but are also interesting as well.

Add flavor
Part of adding quality to a newscast is to add elements that make the stories more interesting. Usually when I fill in the rundown, I don’t have any copy stories simply because I try to think of different, exciting ways ways to tell or show the information. Even if there is no video for a story, I usually want to find students or professors with interesting opinions or use a full screen graphic to add some depth. I think these extra elements help set a quality newscast apart from just a good newscast.

Use your strengths
When creating a quality newscast, while it is important to learn about and then write about what you may not know, it is just as important to tell stories about subjects you know well. For instance, I find technology and education stories very fascinating, and I feel as if I can create quality stories on those subjects. However, I am not as familiar with business or political stories, and, when appropriate, it’s better to assign those stories to someone more familiar with and interested in those subjects. That way, the quality of the entire newscast is better because people are working on stories about what they are passionate about.

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