I was not very prepared to be a producer at the beginning of this semester.
I was coming off my third semester of anchoring and felt very comfortable when it came to tasks such as editing, writing and interviewing.
However, I had no idea what I was walking into as a producer.
I knew that I would be somewhat in charge of the show, but that’s about as much as I was prepared for.
During run-through week I began to understand what my job was:
I was in charge of putting together the entire show.
To say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement.
The first time I created a rundown for the show I was just throwing things together.
But I slowly realized that the more practice I got, the better I got.
I watched my first show and compared it to my most recent show which was this week.
The differences between the shows were staggering.
And it was not just the editing or the writing or the things that are somewhat out of my control because our multimedia journalists are doing them.
But the structure of the show, the placement of certain interviews or graphics, and the opening of the show -- I could not believe the improvements I had made.
So the most important thing that I wish I knew at the beginning of the semester is simple:
Don’t let the first couple shows stress you out.
It’s extremely overwhelming to get thrown into the fire, especially when I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
But I improved immensely as a producer and became a pretty confident producer by the end of the semester.
If I could give specific recommendations to the next wave of producers it would be to read as much as you can throughout the week.
Read newspapers, read news websites, read social media, read USC emails, read everything you possibly can to prepare for your newscasts.
And don’t just read. Talk to your friends.
The USC community is your audience.
If all your friends and group chats are talking about something related to current events, whether nationally or at USC, that is probably something you’re going to want to talk about in your show.
The most successful newscasts will be the ones with the most interesting stories. But it’s not just the most interesting stories. It’s the most relevant angles you can provide.
You as a producer are tasked with building the show.
You may have people pitching story ideas, but you have the final say on what stories are in and what the angle or focus is for the newscast.
You need to be well read so you can choose an angle for every story in your rundown.
And more specifically an angle that is relevant to what our mainly USC audience wants to see.
One final thought is to really enjoy your day.
News days are stressful.
Your day of air is without question going to be the most stressful day of your week.
But if you can take it moment by moment, and truly understand how incredible it is to be in the position you are in, doing what you are doing, it will make your days just a little less stressful and a lot more enjoyable.
Good luck to the next wave of producers. I can’t wait to see your shows!