Given the admissions scandal that broke during USC’s spring break vacation, it was obvious to most of our team what we’d be covering on “See It Live.” With “See It Live,” we have the ability and privilege to cover a single topic thoroughly in a 12 to 15 minute timeframe. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to report on a scandal that has not only rocked the USC community, but also the nation.
The lead spot in the show was filled with a live shot by reporter Madeline Ottilie and a brief interview with Katharine Harrington, the Vice President of Admissions and Planning at USC. Getting an interview with Harrington was big. We were excited about it because it was the first time Annenberg Media had talked with the USC Admissions Office regarding the scandal. However, the information she disclosed to the student reporter was wildly different from what she said in a meeting earlier this week with Annenberg faculty. Considering that admissions letters were mailed out on our day of air, March 21, it was essential to have Ottilie reveal information at the top of our show about how applications are flagged during the review process.
We also discussed the relationship between the athletics department and the admissions committee, as many of the students and/or parents charged with bribing their way into USC joined the Trojan family as “athletes.” A common scam used by the scandal’s ringleader, Rick Singer, was to admit students into the University under the guise of athletes. Harrington said she couldn’t divulge much about the relationship between the two departments due to the FBI and USC investigations into the scandal.
The lead story provided our viewers with the newest information and shocking discrepancies in the stories being told to the community by a high-ranking university official. Harrington's interview and Ottilie's reporting were not only interesting, but also essential to our audience's understanding of the subject at hand.
As the video producer, I am responsible for editing and submitting the sound clips used in the show. I am constantly checking in with the lead producer because sound clips are often under or over the time allotted for them. Usually longer or shorter videos are approved because “See It Live” doesn’t have a strict time limit. “See It SCandal,” as we called it, was 14 minutes and 41 seconds. We had a lot to discuss, and it was an exciting week to be reviewing all of the interviews and footage in the edit bay.