A news producer is in charge of supervising all aspects of a news broadcast. Most networks and local channels that broadcast news assign a different producer to each specific time of day; the tone or topics of news - as well as the preferences of the viewing or listening public - also changes depending on the time of day.
The producer assesses news stories that come in and prioritizes them for broadcast. The producer works with staff to ensure general agreement on the order in which stories will be aired, and then assigns staff as required to perform writing and pre-production work. The producer also assigns and assesses any special reports, which includes reviewing for coherence and newsworthiness.
During a newscast, the producer works with engineers and camera personnel (for television production) to direct as necessary and make any needed on-the-fly changes in the program. For radio news broadcasts, the producer typically makes sure that pre-recorded or remote audio transmissions are properly produced at correct sound levels and inserted into the newscast as needed.
News producers must be quick, organized, and agile thinkers. They must demonstrate a strong grasp of current events and be able to make quick decisions regarding the timing and airing of different news reports from various sources. A bachelor’s degree in communications or journalism is typically needed for a producer. They may need to work within a newsroom environment as a segment producer or writer before being considered for this upper-level position. Persons in this line of work usually work inside television or radio production studios. The hours required depend on the broadcast time frame the producer is assigned to, but many broadcasting companies air news (and need producers) around the clock, on weekends, and on holidays.
News Producer Tasks
Manage personnel and resolve issues that arise on the fly during productions.
Oversee postproduction elements and editing to ensure a high standard of quality.
Create and coordinate news materials for print, web, or broadcast organizations.
Research news media trends and competitor developments.