As I reach the halfway point in the producing class, I feel like I continue to understand what I need to improve upon as a leader in the media center. One of my goals for the rest of this semester is to not try and do everything. When I work as a producer, I tend to revert back to habits I had as a multimedia journalist. Sometimes, I call and set up interviews. Other times, I help current multimedia journalists edit their videos, so they look good for the newscast. These habits come from the knowledge I have gained over the past three years working with my classmates.
Now, I have to learn how to take a step back and teach the next generation. I not only want to make this a goal for myself, but for the other producers I work with as well. As much as I want to have the ability to get my hands on everything in the newscast, from the graphics to the scripts, I do not have enough hands to keep track of it all. I need to delegate more tasks to other people that I know can get the job done. I need to truly understand the specifics of stories we are covering in order to inform others who are writing or editing corresponding videos for the newscast. I need to be tougher with those who are not quite as eager as others when it comes to working in the media center.
We, the producers, need to teach the MJs how to do their jobs. This, ideally, should create a positive and comfortable environment for those with required shifts or volunteers. If the MJs know exactly what they need to do on any given day, it makes the producer's job easier because stories can get done quicker and MJs can be assigned to a new story. However, when there is a lack of communication with MJs from the very beginning of the semester, it hinders the abilities of the producer to supervise the day-to-day activities of multiple people.
The relationship between producers and MJs must be a two-way street of understanding. The producer is there to assign MJs to stories, copy edit scripts, and approve videos. They serve as the person MJs can go to with any questions. They also must find ways to motivate the MJs such as assigning interesting stories to those who worked hard the week before.
On the other hand, MJs must be equally motivated to work. The ideal MJ builds a relationship with the producers as much as the producers do. They check in with producers when writing or editing scripts. They ask questions and find ways to assist the producers in any way possible. In my own experience, the best question an MJ can ask is "How can I help?" because it shows they are eager to learn and grow.
This behavior from producers and MJs builds strong teams and strong newscasts. One thing producers can try to do more throughout the day is ask MJs who are working on certain stories to pitch how they would tackle a story from a different angle. This might make MJs feel like they are truly contributing something to the newscast. At the end of the day, the newscast should be something the producers and the MJs are proud of together. They both play crucial roles in developing, building, and actively engaging with what shows up live at 6pm.