I think the hardest thing about coming up with package ideas is brainstorming what video the packages can and will contain. Without video, a full package can't happen.

Three ideas I pitched for the show made it in: meningitis—the teacher who died from it and the potential danger of the disease, the Oroville dam flooding, and USC's fundraising feat. In my pitches, I proposed a package for the fundraising story and for meningitis, while I decided against putting the Oroville story as a package. Because those two package pitches were both local, I figured they would have the best opportunities for reporters to capture good, intriguing video. However, neither of those stories ended up as a package, while the Oroville one did. But I think two factors that enabled us to package that piece were the use of graphics like the damage map as well as the interviews of USC experts. Even though a lot of the footage wasn't ours, the story still definitely worked and was important to include.

As I mentioned, I proposed the fundraising story as a package because it's based here on campus. Video would not have been hard to find, but I think the reason why it didn't end up being a package was because compelling video would have been very difficult to come across to fill an entire package. There's a big difference between video to just take up time and video that helps contribute to telling the story.

And lastly, in regards to the meningitis story, the reporter who went to the school where the teacher passed away got kicked out. When we're dealing with a school, particularly an elementary school, something like that can certainly happen. I have to weigh the risks and worst case scenarios for every story, and have back-up plans ready when things don't work out.