To begin, open Premiere to display your workspace.
Premiere is a nonlinear editor (NLE). It looks and feels a whole lot different from standard, linear videotape-editing systems. This may be patently obvious to you but bear with me a bit. Figure 3.1 is the default opening screen if you choose single-track editing.
On tape systems you need to lay down edits consecutively and contiguously. If you decide to expand a story already edited on tape by inserting a sound bite in the middle, you simply cannot slip that bite into the piece and slide everything after it further into the story. You need to edit in that sound bite over your existing edits and reedit everything after it. Alternatively, you can make a dub of the story after the new edit point and lay that down after adding the sound bite (causing generation quality loss in the process).
Makes me shudder to think of the news stories I produced, back in the days of videotape-only editing, that screamed for some minor mid-story fixes. But I knew those fixes would have taken too much time and caused too much reporter/editor grumbling to do. Such is life in deadline-driven TV news.
As newsrooms have moved to NLEs, reporter/editor tension (at least over silly little things such as adding a sound bite in the middle of a piece…ah-hem) has dissipated.
Premiere (and other NLEs like it) has come to the rescue. Now you can make changes with a few mouse clicks. If you want to edit the all-important production close before editing anything else, that's fine. It's nonlinear. Feel free to do things nonsequentially.
The other overwhelming improvement over videotape-editing systems is immediate access to your video clips. No longer do you need to endlessly fast forward or rewind through miles of tape to find that one snippet of natural sound. With Premiere, and other NLEs, it's all a mouse click away.