After taking the producing class this semester, I finally feel like I am starting to get the hang of things around the media center. I feel more confident in my ability to develop a successful newscast and to work with my peers to make sure the show gets on air by the end of the day. For all the future producers out there who will be taking the class, here are 8 things I wish I knew that I think will be helpful for you in the long run.
Be confident, but don't be afraid to ask questions – This is a learning environment and you are supposed to make mistakes. However, if you don't ask questions and utilize the feedback you get from the faculty and executive producer, then you cannot learn from your mistakes.
Think about stories from both producer and reporter perspectives – Research potential stories and find the right angles. Try to think about what elements could work visually for the show and how the reporters should go about tackling those specific elements.
Manage your time wisely – There is a lot you need to get done before and after your morning meeting. As a lead producer, you will need to create your rundown before 1pm. As a graphics producer, you will need to get your digital video done as soon as possible so you can put in graphics requests. As a video producer, you need to constantly check in with MJs to see how they are doing with editing videos. Time management is key because the day goes by really quickly.
Think outside the box when developing the show – Think about what you can do to make your show memorable. Use social media, graphics, and chroma key or monitor to take your show in new and interesting directions.
Get to know the MJs and reporters – Most sophomores and juniors studying journalism are required to work in the media center, so try to get to know them. Get to know your reporters as well. Learn their names and what stories they are interested in working on throughout the semester. Compliment them when they do a good job. It really does go a long way when there is mutual respect.
Writing is the key to everything – If you don't know how to write well, you will have a much more difficult job of being a producer. Brush up on your broadcast writing skills because it is helpful when you're writing breaking news stories at the last minute.
Be a good leader and teacher, but don't micromanage – You are one of the leaders in the media center, so act like it. You should delegate tasks to other students and supervise the production. If you try to do everything, you will get stressed and you will not achieve your goals.
Be a proactive over-communicator – Take ownership of the content you are producing and fight for the stories you want on the show. Who knows? Your idea might just end up on the newscast. Also, be a team player and communicate with other producers to make sure everyone is on the same page at all times.