A news producer manages a television news show’s content. He or she might also gather news stories, write scripts and manage the overall flow of the show. There are no specific educational requirements, but a news producer typically has a college degree.
Deciding which items to include in a news show can be the most important task a news producer will complete. He or she might meet with editors, news directors and photographers in order to decide which news stories to use for a program. Together they decide what might be used.
Keeping an eye on wire reports and other news outlets is another way a producer might find content for a news program. Monitoring other news sources can give a news producer perspective on the way another source covered a story or how another source reported on one the producer didn’t choose. This part of the job can last all day.
A producer must follow through with all stories that he or she decides to use. Some stories might fall through, and new stories can develop. A producer must make sure that all stories that are expected to be used for the program feature the most current information and are portrayed in an interesting and accurate way.
Not only must a news producer decide on content for a show, he or she must also write scripts or oversee the writing of scripts for news anchors. The producer will assign anchors to the various stories being covered. Scripts for the anchors will then be placed in order based on the order of pieces being covered in the show.
Ensuring sufficient video and graphics are available is another part of what a news producer does. These items make a news story interesting and help convey additional information about the subject. If video or graphics are not available, the producer should be able to know how to locate appropriate ones.
The ability to think on one’s feet can be an asset when working as a news producer. Breaking news might happen at any time of day, or a story might not be ready for the show in time. Also, a show could be running too long or too short, so content might need to be pulled or added. All of these can require the news producer to make split-second decisions.