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Nobody wants to be a producer.

July 17, 2009

At least no one I personally know, not including myself. Haha, in fact I wish I was a SELF-proclaimed weirdo in this realm but I’m not. A convo I had with a photog at BG 24 (the BGSU newscast, and the ONLY live show in Wood County, Ohio…sorry, had to plug that in 🙂 ) earlier this year went a little like this:

Photog: “Wait, so you actually like producing?!”

Me: “Yeah, I mean, it’s high stress and all, but I do feel a sense of accomplishment when the clock strikes 6:30 and everything is over.”

Photog: “Weirdo.”

Now, he really did call me a weirdo in lieu of his attachment to flamboyant Hawaiian shirts, lol, but he brought up an interesting point. It seems as though broadcast students as a whole just generally want to be on camera. There’s nothing wrong with this per se, as it is indeed broadcast journalism, but the reality is studio time represents 10 percent of work at most. Unless a viewer is already familiar with what goes on behind the scenes, they likely don’t have a clue that it takes hours of work to even complete a half hour broadcast–the other 90 percent.

Reading this article is what spawned this post. The article isn’t dated and is likely a little on the old side (it mentions UPN), but the overall gist still rings very true: being a producer isn’t all that appealing to a lot of journalists. I don’t have statistics or anything, this is my own observation, but I’m sure others would agree with me. Not only is it demanding and difficult at times, producing just plain invites bad stuff to happen, lol. I’ve done it all–sprinting to the studio with corrected scripts, racing to cover a story solo in the middle of putting together a newscast because we were down a photog or two, finishing a script with what seemed like 30 seconds to spare, running super light or super heavy when I thought all was well, having “producer memory block” and forgetting every person I talked to/ran in to during the day because of the stress. I once even had our producing program EZNews (kind of a less scary version of iNews, lol) completely shut down on me with 45 minutes to spare before show time (AHHHHH!!! And yes, I really did scream! Haha!).

Case in point: it’s tough cookies!

Even so, I can never get used to that sigh of relief when our “disaster” of a newscast turns out perfectly. Not only that, but I think few realize how much voice and leeway being a producer gives you. For the most part, you’re in control. I also had the news director’s trust when it came to my instincts and ideas. This coming fall I plan to dabble a lot more with reporting at both PBS and BG 24, and because of my producing a lot of the our newbie (and some veterans as well) reporters come to me for advice or opinion, which, by the way, is funny because I’m always asking for everyone else’s two cents, haha. Even though I do intend on doing some reporting professionally, whether it be on-air or not, I will always have a soft spot for producing.

~ Bliss

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