As a producer, other than making sure the show goes on air at 6 p.m., I'd say that my second goal is to teach and help those around me.
As a younger student at USC, I️ always looked up to the producers and was thankful when they took the time to help me when I️ had questions.
Now, as a producer myself, helping and teaching others is a priority to me. With some students, helping them is a breeze. They catch on to the concepts quickly and after one or two times of teaching them, they no longer need my help.
With other students, it takes additional time and attention. After a few weeks of going through this, I️ sometimes catch myself being tired of going over the same concepts. I️ think of the students who caught on quickly and wish that the student I️ was currently helping would do the same. Almost immediately, I️ have to take a step back. There's a reason as to why this student doesn't understand the editing software or iNews as easily as another student, and it's most likely no fault of their own. For whatever reason, be it language, familiarity with technology, or age, a student may have difficulty catching on to the editing process.
Just because we're different doesn't mean that I️ don't have the ability to help that student. I️ have an opportunity to help and teach someone else. I️ can take the extra five or ten minutes to help this student gain a grasp of the editing techniques. Over time, the need for help should decrease, and maybe at some point, the student will become proficient enough in editing to help someone else.
A language barrier tends to make the teaching process more difficult, but just because someone's first language isn't English doesn't mean that person doesn't deserve the same amount of help, time, and attention than someone whose first language is English. Of all of the professions to be doing in your second, or third language, journalism has got to be one of the more difficult ones. The nuances needed to be a successful journalist require a handle on the language that is difficult to master—even if English is someone's first language.
I️ had the pleasure of studying abroad in Italy. Before traveling, I️ didn't speak a lick of Italian. I️ could say very basic phrases like "hello" and "thank you" in Italian, but that's about it. As I️ started to learn the language, I could only imagine the difficulty in having to report in a foreign language. As I️ had a better grasp, I️ would start to read Italian newspapers. Sometimes I️ could get a general sense of the story but not many of the details. While abroad, I can't imagine the challenges that would have come with working as a journalist as I do at USC.
I️ speak Spanish fairly well, and have even done a bit of journalism in Spanish, but nothing near the complexity of pieces I've done as a part of a newscast in the Media Center.
Having reflected on my own experiences with languages, in a limited sense I️ can see how hard it is to report in a different language. It's difficult not only to report but also to edit videos and craft pieces of a newscast. It's also more challenging when you have to learn new software. Recognizing my place and my abilities have allowed me to find a way to work with others who don't have the same experience as I do.
Diversity in the workplace allows everyone to open themselves up to new experiences. It's a vital component, especially in a newsroom.