I was fortunate enough to go into this class knowing a lot about how ATVN works and how to get a newscast on the air. As an executive producer, I have already been managing producers and the rest of the team for a year. But this class taught me essential skills I wouldn't have learned otherwise.
I do plan to make a career out of local news producing. But I think anyone who hopes to work in journalism or anyone who plans to have a job where they're managing a team will learn many invaluable lessons in JOUR 403.
For any future ATVN producers, here are some things to keep in mind as you start the semester.
Producing is a leadership position. When you're in the morning meeting, or building the rundown or in the control room, you have to know what you want and be decisive enough to make sure it gets done.
You can't do that without doing your research, thinking things through and listening to others.
The listening is something I find really crucial in leadership and in journalism. You never know what you'll discover by paying attention and asking questions. In talking to your reporter, you might discover that her story has an incredible character worth shifting the angle for. Or you might learn that it's not turning out how you thought, and it may need to be moved to a different spot in the newscast.
Part of being a good leader means being open to changes to your plan, for the good of the show.
The best broadcasts happen because your team is communicating about what works and what doesn't. So while you need to be decisive and sure, you also need to strike a balance and consider the perspectives of others.
Patience is also key as a producer, especially in our Media Center, where everyone is a student and many people are doing their jobs for the first time. Investing ten minutes at the beginning of the semester to patiently show students how to put in a graphic or edit a video pays off quickly. They'll actually learn what you want them to, and it's likely they'll appreciate your patience as much as you appreciate their help. This applies to every member of your team.
Investing time (especially early on) and being a patient, inclusive leader will pay off in better shows and a better team.
You'll have a lot to learn at the beginning of the semester – producing a newscast isn't easy. But you and everyone else on your team will pick it up. And that will result in some incredible shows and skills that you'll value long after.