As a USC student-produced newscast, Annenberg TV News' target audience is obviously the USC community. But just because there are Trojans involved in the show doesn't mean other Trojans will automatically tune in.
One way I try to appeal to and engage our viewers is to put myself in their shoes. As a student, what stories would make me want to watch the show? What affects and is important to me?
For example, Monday morning there was a gas leak by one of the gates to campus. Initially, we had discussed putting the story at the top of the show. However, I had second thoughts. Yes, the story was pertinent to the USC community and for that reason definitely needed to be included in the broadcast. But the story had completely concluded; all entrances and buildings were reopened hours before airtime, and there was no lasting impact from the leak. At 6:00 p.m., the situation had absolutely no effect on me or any other member of the Trojan family. It only affected a few dozen or so people for a very short time in a very minuscule way that morning.
On the opposite side of that spectrum, we included a story early on in the show about the closing of the Hollywood sign hiking trail. Other news outlets may have only dedicated a sentence or two to the story, however I know plenty of fellow students who either love hiking that path or had planned on doing so. I felt strongly we needed to dedicate a full segment to it, and as a result we got really interesting reaction from locals in that area.
The thought process I utilized each time does not differ all that much from the process I go through for every story we consider for our show. Of course, the content of every story is going to neither immediately impact nor draw in every member of our target audience. However, I believe this method does a solid job toward getting us where we want to be.