I honestly can’t believe it’s the end of my second semester of graduate school. Everyone tells you how quickly it goes by, but I never quite understood. My time in JOUR 403 Production has genuinely defined my time as a graduate student at Annenberg, and it is deeply upsetting to watch this fantastic experience come to an end… for now. Here are some of my biggest takeaways for upcoming production students:
First, don’t be afraid or intimidated. When the semester begins, no one is a master at iNews, the computer software we use to produce the newscasts. It takes time, so be patient. It’s all about practice.
Work horizontally. You will hear Professor Stacy Scholder say this during almost every single production shift. When working in iNews, complete each line of the rundown horizontally before you move onto the following line. This is so important for keeping organized and staying on track.
The day before your lead production shift, I recommend heading into the media center and playing around with iNews to refresh your memory. Get some practice in and find inspiration from other ATVN show rundowns.
We saw tears, sniffles, and lots of appreciation during our last show of the semester. During our last post-production meeting, a common theme was people saying how glad they were to have found a home at USC in our newsroom. For some, this was their first semester both on campus and in this country. I, too, as a one-year graduate student, was nervous about finding my place on campus, but this newsroom has given me just that. There’s nothing as lovely as seeing your teammates beam with pride after the show and about our teamwork. It is important to remember this as you balance your role as a newsroom leader and teammate.
Lastly, the show must go on. No matter what the situation is, you must push through. A couple of weeks back, I was incredibly proud of the See It Live Team for returning to production after a bomb scare on campus. It made me realize that we honestly could overcome anything if we could overcome this. And so can you.
I wish the best of luck to the next round of producers. If you have any questions about the class, please do not hesitate to reach out to me!
This story was written as an assignment in JOUR403: Television News Production with Professor Stacy Scholder. Annenberg Media student editors also reviewed the story and published it per newsroom guidelines.