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  • socdeansintern 10:24 am on May 4, 2020 Permalink  

    Learning the Investigative Ropes at Voice of America 

    By Dean’s Intern Katherine Long at Voice of America

    KatherineLongIn January I began my internship at Voice of America, where I worked alongside the Investigative Unit team. For the next few months I spent my days gathering research, making pitches and joining in on occasional town hall meetings and tours.

    The team stressed that it was important for me to pick a topic that was interesting and meaningful for me to research and write about. With their aid, I began writing a piece on student media censorship within universities and how our current political climate impacts the way student journalists are treated. I interviewed students from various college publications across the U.S. and conducted research on how student journalism has changed within the past five years. This also allowed me to work with editors and writers at the Press Freedom desk.

    Outside of working on the article, I had the opportunity to attend town halls and other meetings where I got to watch writers and editors in their element. In one of my favorite meetings the investigative team showcased a new documentary series they worked on detailed three stories of individuals living in the U.S. through the J1-Visa, highlighting the pros and cons of the program. This was an exciting way to learn and understand how the investigative team conducts and executes their work.

    While my time at Voice of America was cut short due to COVID-19, I feel lucky to have had the experience of working in a newsroom and getting an understanding of what real world reporting is like. I am continuing to write my article and am pushing through the challenges of writing and reporting online. Although it is unfortunate that my time at VOA came to a sudden halt, I am thankful for the experiences and lessons I learned throughout my time there. This being my first internship, I am excited for the opportunities to come and will take what I have learned and apply it to my future journalism work.

  • socdeansintern 3:33 pm on April 28, 2020 Permalink  

    Making an Impact with Local News Reporting 

    By Dean’s Intern Emily Hayes at The Durango Herald

    Emily HayesFour months ago, I started an internship with a community newspaper based in Durango, Colorado called The Durango Herald. I’ve been working as their Washington DC correspondent, covering the Colorado congressional delegation and legislation that affects Southwest Colorado.

    Since then, I’ve published 57 articles with the Herald, with the help of Shane Benjamin, the deputy editor. In this blog post, I wanted to share what I’ve learned from the experience, especially reporting on the Covid-19 pandemic.

    We all experienced a dramatic shift in how we live our daily lives over the past few months. Information sharing on Covid-19 through print and digital news outlets became increasingly vital. With so much uncertainty, and different rules depending on which state or county you live in, localized news has also proved to be essential.

    Local news contextualizes important decisions coming from the federal level and explains to people how it will affect them. As journalists, we should strive to have this kind of impact in every community. There really are stories everywhere. We should not let local news outlets fade into the background.

    When I cover legislation coming out of Congress to support small businesses and hospitals, I identify safety nets that are especially important to the readership of the Herald. Then, I reach out to state and local organizations for more information specialized to the community. During such a chaotic time, it is important for people to have clear explanations and guidance on where they can access the support they need.

    For example, under new legislation from Congress passed last week, farmers and ranchers are now able to apply for economic injury loans from the Small Business Association. The USDA also set aside $19 billion to support agriculture workers struggling from the impacts of Covid-19, $3 billion of which will be used to buy excess products that aren’t purchased in grocery stores. Theoretically, that food will be donated to food banks, where people who are struggling to pay for food because they are employed can receive free products for their families.

    To get more information on how soon this program will be implemented, and what implementation might look like, I speak with senators and representatives from Colorado. Then I reach out to local officials at the Colorado Farm Bureau to get a balanced look at the situation, and obtain more information on how agricultural workers in the state can access the financial support. Of course, talking to the farmers and ranchers themselves is also important.

    As students at a university in Washington, D.C., we are lucky to have easy access to so many more resources than most college students in the country. We also feel the pressure to get a job working at a big name, national publication. Professors often tout the student who got the job at The New York Times or The Washington Post.

    Don’t get me wrong – those publications are obviously doing important work.

    But the lesson is this: you can have an important, valuable impact wherever you are. In fact, the people who get overlooked are the people who need your reporting the most.

    The silver lining from Covid-19 is that people are starting to learn what is truly important again: family, friends, taking the time for self-care, exercising, getting out into nature.

    We’re also relearning how important local news is. But unfortunately, the financial impact of Covid-19 is taking a toll on local news outlets. Please support them. They are telling you about your state and your town’s businesses and stay-at-home rules.

    And if you don’t get the job you imagined right out of school, remember you are just starting. Be open to the opportunities around you. Make an impact where you are. Unfortunately, stories abound, especially now.

    As my great grandmother always said: “No one said it was going to be easy, kid.”

  • socdeansintern 1:03 pm on April 28, 2020 Permalink  

    Adapting to Change at Voice of America 

    By Dean’s Intern Amrutha Chatty at Voice of America


    Getting to work with my morning coffee!

    Interning at the Voice of America has been nothing short of a wonderful and enlightening experience.

    My internship is in the PR department. There are four full-time workers and a few circulating interns who help out with a lot of work. While we were still in the office, a lot of my time would be spent preparing for giving the daily VOA Studio Tour. The tour was a great way for visitors to learn more about VOA and its mission. It was open to the public, but most often groups would book tours ahead of time. VOA broadcasts internationally, so most tour groups would come from out of the country and would have special interests in VOA’s operations in their specific region.

    One of my most memorable tours was when the State Department brought a group from India. My parents are originally from India and they listened to VOA radio growing up. As the tour guide I was assisting talked at length about VOA’s services in India, I learned so much about the kinds of things my parents used to listen to and the current political and media landscape of that region.

    Since we’ve moved online, I’ve started working on projects for VOA that are more focused on long-term help for them. I help write and edit content for social media, plan and sort pictures for the calendar, and help out with any other things that come up. While I definitely miss running around the office and getting to work in a historic building in downtown DC, I’m so grateful that I have been able to extend my experience with VOA through this crisis.

    I have learned so much about working in a news organization as well as working in a government organization. The people at VOA are passionate, talented, and extremely smart and I know I’ll remember this experience for a very long time!

  • socdeansintern 4:20 pm on April 20, 2020 Permalink  

    A Major Pivot while Interning at Voice of America 

    By Dean’s Intern Ashlyn Peter at Voice of America

    Dean’s Intern Ashlyn PeterI never imagined that I would be completing my VOA internship from home in south Florida, but I think that this unexpected change has better prepared me for the turbulence of the journalism world that I’m going into. Journalists have to account for unforeseen developments in story production almost every day, and I feel like I’m now getting a crash course in what that’s like.

    I worried that I’d have to terminate my internship after AU transferred online for the rest of the semester due to COVID-19: I contribute to the VOA Asia radio program as an interviewer and a commentator, but I didn’t have any audio equipment at home to do my work. Surprisingly, my boss wasn’t worried at all. She reminded me that every news station has had to adapt during this time, and people don’t mind a lack of professional sound quality so long as they get the information that is so vital right now. In fact, I think the lack of studio-grade production is actually a comfort to the public: things are messy at the moment, but the show is still going on.

    VOA Asia has given me the freedom to chase my curiosity. As a Floridian, I wondered if the beach closures would positively impact water quality, so I’ve been interviewing environmental experts to explore that possibility. The team has encouraged me to present my findings on the radio, and I’m happy that I’ve gained experience in this medium. This wasn’t the semester I envisioned, but I feel lucky to help document such a unique time in our nation’s history.

  • socdeansintern 4:46 pm on April 17, 2020 Permalink  

    Interning in the Time of COVID-19 

    By Dean’s Intern Willard West at NBC4

    UnknownThroughout my internship on the digital desk at NBC Washington, my favorite thing was being in the newsroom. It was filled with noise — a police scanner constantly buzzing, an editor yelling instructions to the news chopper or across the room to a reporter, reporters chatting about the news of the day. The sounds helped to make it exciting and new every day.

    Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, I would key into the newsroom, and as the sliding doors opened, noise would erupt into the hall. It was invigorating. With a mug of coffee in hand, I would sit down and start cutting videos from broadcasts, turning police statements and information from reporters in the field into stories for the website.

    As coronavirus started spreading in DC, we were forced to start working from home. Thankfully, I can still do my internship from my home in Wisconsin. I was never in a position where I was helping make TV, so I was fortunate enough to continue my internship. I help make information and segments from TV accessible on the internet, though we also produce a fair amount of original content. 

    Now I help produce web content from my childhood bedroom and kitchen table. The newsroom noises I loved to have humming in the background have been replaced by my dog’s barking and my family. I’m in a very privileged position to still be working (well, at least until May 8) during this difficult period for so many, and to have the support of my family in a comfortable home with plenty to eat. But it still feels as though I’ve slid backwards.

    I know practically everyone else in my graduating class faces much uncertainty ahead. But in this time of social isolation, it is impossible not to feel somewhat alone. While things can seem a bit bleak right now, we have a lot to look forward to. And we have learned a new kind of resilience through this experience.

  • socdeansintern 4:36 pm on April 13, 2020 Permalink  

    NBC’s Meet the Press One Day at a Time 

    By Dean’s Intern Hannah Rabinowitz at NBC’s Meet the Press

    Hannah RabinowitzYou never quite know what the day will bring at NBC’s Meet the Press. Meet the Press, which is the longest running program in television history, hosts U.S. and world leaders every week to discuss the news. You never know who you’re going to meet — particularly during an election cycle and a presidential impeachment.

    During the week, I participate in staff meetings to discuss and plan out the show every Sunday. I help to cut and transcribe news clips that could potentially go to air, as well as source images and data for graphics. Once guests are booked (this past week we had presidential hopefuls Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar), I work to compile every public statement and interview they have given in the past few months, highlighting what’s particularly interesting or of relevance. I do the same with every print article by and about that guest, every tweet they have posted, and essentially anything in print about that guest. I then use the print and transcript research to write questions and propose graphics for the show. I also assist in the control room for Meet the Press Daily during the week.

    Bright and early on Sundays, I get in and help put together any last minute research or transcription that may be required. After sitting in for lighting checks on set, I rotate between running social media posts during the show, checking graphics, greeting and shuttling guests and audience members, cutting and verbating live interviews for advertising, and working in the control room. After the show airs, I help with cutting and posting the Chuck Toddcast, scheduling and reposting social media posts, and editing transcriptions of the show.

    Meet the Press offers you endless opportunities to develop your own reporting and production skills as an integral part of the team. And bagels on Sunday mornings are the cherry on top!

  • socdeansintern 2:10 pm on March 5, 2020 Permalink  

    Behind the Scenes at Voice of America 

    By Dean’s Intern Simin Ma at Voice of America

    Simin MaAs I grew up, I found myself pursuing many different dreams. I wanted to be an educator, an interpreter, and a traveler. Looking back, I have come to realize that I have followed all of these dreams by becoming a journalist. Being a journalist means always working in the front line and getting the first-hand information for the audience. As a journalist, you must travel and communicate complex issues to non-experts to inform a broad audience.

    This spring, I’m honored to have the opportunity to work as a production intern for the weekly show Plugged in with Greta Van Susteren at Voice of America. It’s a 30-min show hosted by the well-known anchor Greta Van Susteren. The show examines and communicates US policy and global issues to international audiences. As a production intern, I mainly conduct research for the producers, write factoids for the program, as well as contributing show ideas at the editorial meetings. So far, I’ve assisted with episodes including Super Tuesday,  Coronavirus Global Outbreak and Lesson from Auschwitz. On top of that, I and the other two interns are given an awesome opportunity to pitch and produce a show on our own, so we are currently doing research on our show idea and will hopefully make it on air.

    The show airs weekly on Wednesday morning, as part of the team, I’m able to sit in the control room to see how the producers put the show together. There are always lots of screaming and laughing in the control room, which is hard to imagine from just looking at the show. What the audience sees is only the people on the screen, however, there are many more people behind the screen to work together to deliver the show. Yet, whether we work on the screen or behind the screen, we journalists are all working on bringing the audience the most updated and accurate information.

  • socdeansintern 10:41 am on March 2, 2020 Permalink  

    Honing Journalism Skills at Current 

    By Dean’s Intern Grace Vitaglione at Current

    Grace VitaglioneI have loved public media since I was a kid; some of my earliest memories consist of listening to NPR programs on morning car rides. This internship only intensified that passion for public media within me. At Current, I get to report on what’s happening in public media and provide that news to professionals in the field. This has given me a deeper understanding of how the systems of public media operate, and I continue to learn more with each new story. It’s also allowed me to connect with inspiring people who work in public media all over the country.

    A typical day at Current involves a morning “huddle” meeting where the news staff updates each other on our work, before I spend the rest of the day reporting on and writing my stories. Being allowed to pitch, interview and write my own stories has honed my journalistic skills so much, and I really enjoy working with the editorial team here. They give me great feedback on my writing and are always supportive of my story ideas. I also have to admit that working where Current is located in the WAMU building (one of my dream places to work) is a huge plus!

    My staff profile:

  • socdeansintern 10:36 am on March 2, 2020 Permalink  

    On Top of the World at Voice of America 

    By Dean’s Intern Andriana Gregovic at Voice of America

    Andriana GregovicMy time at Voice of America has been great! The employees I work with are so kind and helpful, and I know I can always go to them if I have a question or need help on anything. In fact, everyone I’ve met at VOA has been amazing, and they all make sure the other interns and I are getting the most out of our internship.

    One day early on in the semester, one of the employees I work with, Damir, took me and the other interns I work with up to the roof of VOA, where certain language services broadcast from. He explained a lot of the history of VOA, and told stories about watching people fill in the streets for the inaugurations of both Obama and Trump (the building VOA is in has a perfect view of the Capitol Building and a lot of employees went to the roof to watch the inaugurations). Damir didn’t have to take the time out of his day to show us this part of Voice of America, especially since it had little to do with our daily tasks of video editing and headline writing, but he did. It helped bring the interns and I into VOA’s world a little more, and made us feel more connected to the organization we worked for (and, we got some awesome pictures!).View of Capitol

    I’m so glad I have the opportunity to intern at such a historical and welcoming organization, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of my time here holds!

    Works (I wrote the headlines, and chose and edited to footage together):

  • socdeansintern 11:57 am on February 25, 2020 Permalink  

    My New Normal at CNN 

    By Dean’s Intern Mariah Espada at CNN

    Mariah EspadaA normal week at CNN, the worldwide leader of news, is far from normal.

    In just a few weeks of my news gathering internship, I have been able to take part in breaking news during one of the most formative times in political history. What I have learned most from the experience is that what appears to be a seemingly flawless show from the comfort of one’s home, is in fact the result of countless moving pieces.

    My responsibilities at the bureau have varied. During the 45th president’s impeachment trial, late evenings were logging potential SOT’s for producers to use in their stories. Many days have included rehearsing as an anchor stand-in in preparation of the network’s primary and caucus coverage for early voting states and a highly anticipated Super Tuesday night. Other days have consisted of answering phones for the assignment desk, participating in technical news application trainings, conducting research for the 2020 election, shadowing producers in the control room and assisting various talent during their live panel hits. My personal favorite has been my time on the Hill where I spend countless hours chasing senators and representatives down to ask pressing questions of the day.

    With the countless components necessary to make an operation of this magnitude possible, it is evident that no one job is more important than the other— even if it’s just going on coffee runs for tireless reporters. (Caffeine is important!) Now, after over a decade of being a consumer of CNN’s coverage, I can say so far my time with the team has been just as magical as my 12-year-old self had hoped for it to be.

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