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Get a View from Behind-the-Camera in Cable & Network News: Role of Producer

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A producer works behind-the-scenes and in the control room helping to write and direct the way the news is presented by the talent. It is an important and vital role to the delivery of broadcast news but it’s a role that is little understood.
A producer helps gathers the news, write it and sits in the control room advising the talent during the news delivery.
A producer and the news anchor must have a symbiotic relationship. It is like an intense plutonic professional relationship, according to Katie Hinman, an executive producer of special programming at CNN. She says that they often share the same world view but they sometimes bicker like an “old married couple.”
If the chemistry is right then there is a closeness that develops – a trusting relationship. The producer can be the voice in the news anchors ear to steer him/her in the right direction or to avoid misstatements or inaccuracies.
Before her new assignment, Hinman had that close professional relationship with Jake Tapper of CNN. Both had worked together previously at ABC and then both moved to CNN.
Hinman was the executive producer and helped launch Tapper’s Sunday show “State of the Union with Jake Tapper.” She also was the supervising producer for Tapper’s daily CNN show, “The Lead.”
Prior to joining CNN five years ago, Hinman spent 10 years at ABC News as a producer for “Nightline.”
She claims that good writing is the fundamental building block of all good journalism and she says that over her career she has learned to write in the “voice” of whomever will be delivering that report. She also says that she must assure the talent that she is writing in a way that everything she writes is 100 percent accurate.
Hinman has received two Emmys for her work and an Overseas Press Club Award. She also has received the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award and a Peabody Award.
Hinman is a 2003 graduate of the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. While an undergraduate student, she worked at WOUB Public Media and interned at Nightline after her sophomore year. She also was a Cutler Scholar.