One of the keys to a successful newscast occurs hours before the show. Maybe as much as 8 hours before the show. It’s the morning meeting. A good morning meeting usually leads to interesting and compelling content later in the day. Come to the meeting with ideas and don’t automatically shut down others just because they suggest stories that don’t interest you. It’s amazing how one negative person can keep others from speaking up.
What to bring to the morning meeting
Each station organizes and formats it’s morning meeting differently, but there is one thing all successful newsrooms have in common: EVERYONE who attends the morning meeting brings AT LEAST one story idea with them. Two is better, three is fantastic. These should not be “pie in the sky” ideas. These should be stories the newsroom could turn today, for tonight’s newscasts.
Brainstorming leads to great content
This is NOT a meeting where you sit and listen and write down lists of stories that will be covered that day as announced by the assignment editor. The BEST morning meetings are brainstorming sessions. You can’t have a brainstorming session unless each person in the meeting shares ideas.
And don’t clam up in disgust if no one in the room likes your idea. News people are hard to please and are often quick to shut down others’ ideas. I don’t know why that is, but it’s true. Even if they don’t have their own ideas, many news people are quick to criticize others. News people are naturally skeptical. So, don’t give up easily if you get shot down, and if you aren’t successful with one idea that’s why you need a few others. Also, don’t expect to be able to do your idea THAT DAY. It may be a great story, but if it doesn’t fit the mix of what’s needed that day, maybe it’s a story for another day.
What the boss wants
Don’t be afraid to speak up. Share your thoughts. The news management will appreciate this. Even if you are just an intern. Pipe up! You are probably part of the demographic that station is trying to reach. Your ideas are important! Your ideas represent a portion of the audience that the news department is trying to reach.
I can’t impress upon you how appreciative news directors are of employees who bring a good attitude and story ideas to the morning meeting. Whether you are an editor, photographer, or part-time writer, if you want to make an impression at work, attending the morning meeting and participating is going to win you some points, and will help make the newscasts more interesting for viewers.
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Doug Drew is a morning news specialist with 602 Communications. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Doug on facebook http://www.facebook.com/dougdrew and on twitter at http://twitter.com/dougdrew