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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

3, 2, 1...

This week we were very lucky because ATVN alumni Ned Dannenberg, who now produces in Nashville, visited the studio. As we learned from Ned, live shots are often what distinguishes a top-notch, professional newscast from a mediocre one, and at ATVN, we are lucky enough to have the technological capabilities to do live shots. 

While Team Thursday does not have a streambox operator to do a live shot, it is still important to consider what live shot(s) could improve our newscast. 

For example, yesterday we started our newscast with a memorial for two USC students who were shot and killed exactly one year ago. 

While I think the story turned out strong, especially considering the elements came in so late, it could have been better with a live shot - or even two or three. 

Instead of simply recapping what happened the night of the shooting, it would have been better to have a reporter live at the scene, walking the audience through the events. 

Similarly, it would have been nice to see the memorial tree live. That way, the reporter could talk about the tree and then lead into a VSV or more about the memorial service at Viterbi.

Even better, if we had the capability to do so many live shots, we could have previewed the mayoral candidate debate that was happening last night. We could have put a reporter in front of the scene of the debate to tell the audience what the candidates would be talking about, when the debate was happening, and also why the debate was so signficant. 

As I am learning, live shots, like those hypothetical ones listed above, are an important part of the newscast because they make a broadcast current, and they also add variety.

Especially in the digital age, live shots can draw in viewers because it is happening right at that very moment, which is something that is harder to find on the web. 

Even though we may not have a streambox operator, live shots are still important to consider when crafting the newscast. Although we may have to be creative (I know Julia mentioned that we can use Skype to a live shot), we can still improve the professionalism of the broadcast by adding a live shot. 

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