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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Where Did The Time Go?

It's that time of year. How did it get to be this time of year already? I have no idea, but it's here. Baseball season. No, just kidding. It's finals season. Classes are ending, people are running on two hours of sleep, and coffee is thought of as an acceptable meal. It's a time to reflect on what has happened this past semester. 

My last day as the lead producer was Wednesday and to say that I have learned only one thing would be an understatement. I wish I could sum my whole producing experience up in one sophisticated line, but I can't. So I'm going to give you the top five things that I've learned throughout the semester. 

1. Talk to everyone. 

Whether it's your producing teammates, an MJ, a reporter, or an anchor, you need to know what is going on. I've learned that if you don't talk to people, then you will have no idea what is going on. Just this week, I didn't talk to an MJ that came back from a protest in Downtown Los Angeles about a higher minimum wage. I just assumed I knew what footage she had. But during my meeting with my supervisor, I realized I didn't know what interviews she had or what the people said. Because of this, it was tough to format my rundown at the top of the show. There was a lot of the same story just in two different locations. If I would have just talked to the MJ when she got back, I would have known exactly what I had. 

2. Don't trust anyone! 

We joke about it in class all the time, but it's very true. Don't believe what other people tell you about someone else and the footage they have. I learned that if I want something done right, then I need to do it myself or make sure it's done correctly. 

3. Copy editing is the key to success. 

If you don't copy edit the stories, then you're not going to know what's in the newscast and if the facts are correct. If something doesn't make sense or worse, when the facts are wrong, then you can lose credibility as a news station. Reading something out loud is the best way to correct any mistakes and make sure the story makes sense.    

4. Being organized will only make things easier. 

Maybe it's my self-diagnosed OCD, but every time I come in the morning of my shift, I always clean off my desk I will be working at for that day and set up my computer with all of the windows I will need open. This includes iNews, my email, Trello, CNN, City News Service, Twitter, and Facebook. Throughout the day I like to keep myself organized and write down when people come back from filming and what footage they have. I noticed on the days where I don't write things down or I don't feel organized, I feel frazzled and more stressed. 

5. Teamwork makes the dream work. 

This semester I have learned I am not superwoman. I cannot do everything by myself and it's okay to ask for help. If I didn't have my producing teammates, Kaiti and Drennon, then things would fall apart. Throughout this whole semester, they have both been such great teammates. They always tried to talk to me about everything so we were on the same page for the newscast and what needed to be done for it. They were great not only to work with but to have a good time with. We have a newscast to produce, but we are also there for 12 hours and sometimes it's nice to have a break and laugh a little. Not only did I learn that my producing teammates helped make things happen but everyone else in the Media Center- the MJs, the studio crew, and the Executive Producer.

This was a great experience for me as a journalist. I have always wanted to go into on air reporting, but I've always had the mentality that the more you know about everyone else's positions in the newsroom, the more well rounded you're going to be as a journalist. Now that I know what a producer will be going through when I'm out in the field as a reporter, I hopefully will be able to make their life easier in the control room. The skills I have learned and the experiences I have gone through as a producer are skills I will take into any job. 

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