To Annenberg's future producers:
First and foremost, congratulations on your decision to enroll in the Journalism-403 producing course! I have no doubt you will learn a great deal from the class and gain from the experiences you are about to have.
Never in my life did I think I would be a producer, let alone take a class that would give me the experiences to make me feel I could be one. Becoming a television news reporter, and hopefully one day a news anchor, has always been my dream.
I mention this not to offer information about myself, but to provide a larger message; even if you do not wish to be a producer, I have no doubt this class will serve you well in life. Whether you wish to become a TV news reporter and anchor, as I do, or a lawyer, businessman or woman, clergy, or politician, the course will prepare you for a multitude of professions and life experiences.
One of my first responsibilities for this class required the oversight of certain tasks necessary for the completion of the newscast. For instance, one such role was to assign our multimedia journalist students (MJs) to edit video and create graphics in our show building software, iNews. Understandably, some of these talented MJs began the semester without the benefit of knowing how to edit video or build graphics, all necessary to a successful newscast. This was a challenge that forced me to develop skills as a mentor to those students. While I sometimes felt it would have been easier to simply complete the tasks on my own, I recognized that this would have been unfair to other students, defeating the learning element of their Media Center shift. In those situations, I had to learn to find the balance between efficiently completing the task at hand while allowing my fellow students to gain experience. Admittedly, it was sometimes hard to summons the patience and teaching tools required in this situation. However, gaining these skills helped me mentor other students in the Media Center. These mentoring skills will continue to serve me as a producer, and also as the reporter and anchor I aspire to be, as well as in every other professional setting.
Just as important as it is to work diligently and communicate with the MJs, so is it just as important to do so with your fellow producers. Students in the Journalism-403 producing course must join forces, week after week, to create an end-of-the-day news program. Because this class, by definition, requires a collaborative effort every week, it is a bonding experience in a way no lecture-style class can be. Unlike lecture classes, learning occurs by doing, by working together with fellow classmates, and sometimes even by failing. This experiential kind of learning has helped to teach us specific production skills, and also life skills, such as patience, leadership, humility, and cooperation, that come from learning how to develop healthy working relationships. Fortunately, working collaboratively toward a final product also has the added bonus of fostering personal friendships that will always be treasured.