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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

I Feel Prepared For Anything

As the famous saying goes, "it's the final countdown." One show left and that's it. I remember in the summer of 2014, I met with another professor at USC named Dick Block. I met with him for lunch to talk about the career field I wanted to go into and he asked me what classes I am taking to prepare myself for it. I told him I was still debating if I wanted to take the documentary class or producing class and he said there's no debating and that I needed to take the producing class. Documentary isn't what I want to do with my life and being in the newsroom is, so he thought the producing class would be more beneficial. I contemplated for the next couple of weeks of what class I really wanted to take and I decided to take producing. I am so glad I met Dick Block in the summer and he talked me into taking the producing class.   

This class has taught me so much not only about producing but just about being a journalist in general. I now know I definitely don't want to go into producing as a career, but I know what a producer goes through in order to make the show happen. Since I want to go into reporting, it has helped me realize what is happening behind the scenes while I'm out in the field. As a reporter, I know I need to check in often with my producer to give them updates on what I have and I need to be really honest with them about the elements I'm gathering in the field and whether it's a really good story or not. When I say I definitely don't want to go into producing, it's not a bad thing and I'm not saying I didn't enjoy myself as a producer at ATVN, but I would rather be out in the field talking to people instead of in the newsroom most of the time I'm working.

On Monday, I came in to volunteer report for the day. It was the first time I reported since the spring semester of 2014 so I hadn't done it since I had become a producer. I don't know why but being a reporter after learning how to produce really made a difference. I came in with a story idea. I didn't pitch it at first because I wanted to see what the producers had for the day. I ended up going with my story idea on deportation and interviewing a family in Sun Valley where the parents are facing possible deportation. When I was out in the field I was able to think as a producer and reporter. I tried keeping the lead producer updated as much as possible, maybe even too much. But I was also thinking about a possible cold open or letting my lead know early on if I needed more time in my story. When I reported in the spring, I wasn't thinking about any of this because I just didn't know.

This class has not only made me realize I definitely want to go into reporting and has made me a better reporter in general but it's taught me how to work with so many people and create the teamwork to make the newscast go on air by 6 pm. Whether you are one of the teammates for the week or lead producer, you're constantly working with others and keeping track of what everyone is doing. In order to succeed at this, you have to stay organized and actually talk to people. It's a crazy concept but the producers are around so many people throughout the day and sometimes you just forget to check in with people because you're stuck in your producing bubble. But it's essential to remember to talk with the other people working on your newscast. It's something that I learned that sometimes a producer can get overwhelmed with so many other things they are working on so it's okay to call and check in as a reporter. It's actually more than okay and definitely necessary.

I can't believe this semester is already coming to a close but I know I am more than ready to enter into the "real world" especially after this semester of producing. If I said I wasn't just a little nervous, I would be lying. But it's just what I'm going to call the "first job jitters." It's crazy to think that my time at USC is coming to a close but Annenberg has prepared me for anything and now it's time to see what kind of a difference I can make.

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