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  • socdeansintern 3:02 pm on February 17, 2020 Permalink  

    Storyboarding for Impact at Voice of America 

    By Dean’s Intern Vanessa Montalbano at Voice of America

    Vanessa MontalbanoIn the Documentary and Special Projects Unit at Voice of America, no day is ever quite the same. But, everyday is certainly exciting. I work alongside Senior Executive Producer Beth Mendelson, and I like to think of us as partners in crime. Since my first day on the job, I have felt like an integral part of the staff and not just as an intern. Right now we are in the re-production phase of a documentary about Press Freedom in Turkey. That is, we have a completed documentary that needs a bit of renovation. So, most days, we juggle with a seven hour time difference from Turkey to talk on the phone with our on-the-field producer about possible characters, links, and footage that could enhance our story—without drawing too much attention to the project. This fear stems from Turkey being among the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists to work and live freely.

    Usually, by noon, the floor of the office is blanketed with a map of paperwork, articles, thumbnails, and photos that only Beth and I are able to comprehend. We are storyboarding. This process is probably the most exciting for me, as I am able to work hands-on with material that will eventually become something that is important, impactful, and out in the world. The flow of such a documentary has to be perfect, so we put a ton of consideration into this exercise. Prior to my internship at VOA, I’ve never really considered a career in documentary filmmaking. Now, however, I am enamored by it. I have come to realize that this one of the most effective and empathetic channels of storytelling that allows you to reach an incredible audience. The possibilities are endless. In the coming weeks, I expect my time here to be just as thrilling and encouraging. Also, I am looking forward to learning more about the ins and outs of the film industry as deadlines approach for applications into national and international film festivals.

  • socdeansintern 12:54 pm on January 9, 2020 Permalink  

    Life long goals coming true at PBS 

    By Dean’s Intern Pedraam Faridjoo at PBS

    Pedraam FaridjooIt’s rare enough to find an internship that is relevant to your major and interests, but it’s even
    rarer to intern somewhere that you have been a fan of since you were a toddler!

    This has been my experience at PBS, where I worked as a media production intern at over the
    summer. My days were spent working on internal packages that showcased life at PBS, such as
    a video highlighting “Bring Your Child to Work Day” that was shown at a company-wide meeting
    and a more practical package of the company’s move to a new building to be shown at

    When not shooting or editing, I had the privilege of spending time with and shadowing
    employees at all levels of the production process, from editing to quality control to children’s
    programming. It was here that I gained invaluable insight into the process of how a show

    evolves from a simple pitch to being broadcast on TVs around the country. Learning about the
    intricacies at every step of the process gave me a profound appreciation for the work behind
    every show or documentary, and made me more excited than ever to join the world of film and

    It was absolutely amazing to hear from professionals currently working in the field, as well as
    hearing about more things than I expected, like movie poster collections and the stories behind
    some of my favorite childhood cartoons.

    Interning at PBS was my first true experience working in the entertainment industry, and I
    couldn’t have asked for a better introduction into the world I plan on entering after graduation.

  • socdeansintern 3:49 pm on December 18, 2019 Permalink  

    Editing Globally at Voice of America 

    Stephanie MirahBy Dean’s Intern Stephanie Mirah at Voice of America

    At Voice of America, I work in the Media Lab (alongside Grace Vitaglione) editing 4-5 headlines for four different regions – America, Asia, Africa and the World – into 60-second videos on Adobe Premiere. My fellow interns and I also record a stand-up of 3 extended headlines for America’s news of the day. We do this project in both English and Portuguese.

    This internship has provided me with some of the richest moments of this semester. It is difficult to select one moment that stands-out among the rest, so I will highlight some of my favorites. I enjoyed becoming a stronger video editor and concise headline writer. I enjoyed picking-up on some conversational Portuguese as I edited the Portuguese product. “Bom fim-de-semana” roughly translates to “Have a good weekend!” I enjoyed becoming more geographically aware and broadening my news consumption past the United States. I enjoyed become (slightly) addicted to hazelnut black coffee. I needed something to help me power through those early mornings and my supervisors also do not keep creamer or sugar in the office so I had to adapt. But, most of all, I enjoyed working within such a warm and welcoming environment. My fellow interns become some of my closest friends over the past semester, and my supervisors supported me professionally while also remaining two of the most genuine people I have ever met. I will be sad to leave, yet I am happy that this internship has provided me with some wonderful friendships and practical skills that are easily transferable to my later endeavors.

  • socdeansintern 3:18 pm on December 18, 2019 Permalink  

    Reporting from Outside the Box 

    By Dean’s Intern Ayelet Sheffey at The Durango Herald

    Ayelet SheffeyReducedSizeWhen my editor asked me to cover the first public impeachment hearing, I experienced what some might call “imposter syndrome,” in that I did not believe that I belonged alongside the reporters from the large news organizations who were covering the same thing. But nevertheless, I set my alarm for 5am on that Wednesday morning, commuted to Capitol Hill and began to make a game plan on how I would go about my coverage.

    I knew that every news organization would be covering the content of the hearing, so I decided to do something a bit different – cover what was going on outside of the hearing.

    For about an hour, I stood in the hallway and watched the general public line slowly grow, and when I finally decided to start walking up to random people in line and ask what brought them to the hearing, I was faced with a lot of “I don’t want to be on record,” “I can’t give you my name,” or simply an “I don’t know.”

    I was hungry, tired, my feet hurt and I wasn’t exactly in the mood to confront another hostile hearing attendee, but I wasn’t going to walk away without a story, so I headed toward the lobby to see if anything was going on there. As I was walking, a woman wearing an “Arrest Trump” sweatshirt walked by, and I knew that there had to be a story there, so I stopped her, and after interviewing her, my story took off.

    I ended up talking to a drag queen, a group of people who had been camping outside of the White House for ten days, high school students who traveled to attend the hearing, and the day after the hearing, I interviewed Rep. Scott Tipton of Colorado’s Third Congressional District on his thoughts after the hearing. If there’s one thing I learned from my experience covering the hearing, it would be the importance of getting over imposter syndrome and recognizing that a 20-year-old intern from a small paper in Colorado has just as much right to be there as the 50-year-old from NBC. And also to wear more comfortable shoes next time.

    Link to my clips:


  • socdeansintern 4:03 pm on November 20, 2019 Permalink  

    Broadcasting a Commercial Shuttle Launch 

    By Dean’s Intern Brad De Ramon at Interface Media Group

    BraddeRamonAt Interface Media Group, I serve as a member of the Marketing team. My day-to-day consists of managing the company’s social media channels, writing case studies about past client projects to use as future pitching material, and assisting in the creation of the company’s other marketing documents.

    On Wednesday, October 9, my day was a little different. I came in three and a half hours early, and I was focused on one thing: watching a live broadcast of a commercial shuttle launch. One of IMG’s clients, International Launch Services, was broadcasting a commercial shuttle launch for the first time in almost two years, and I volunteered to attend capture content for our company’s social media.

    I was up and out of the house before sunrise, and I arrived at the studio just in time to watch the broadcast and launch. It was my first live broadcast, and as a Public Relations major, I appreciated the opportunity to see a project we’ve been promoting come to fruition. After the end of the broadcast, I got to work early and had a rather productive day before most of my coworkers had even arrived.

    Though I may not have had an active role in the execution of the broadcast, the experience helped me contextualize what we do for our clients. I always value opportunities at IMG to shadow others or sit in on studio shoots because it helps me understand the best ways to promote our work.

  • socdeansintern 4:01 pm on November 20, 2019 Permalink  

    The News Never Stops at NBC4 

    By Dean’s Intern Emma Dion at NBC4

    Emma DionOne of the most valuable lessons that I’ve learned this semester at NBC4 is that the news never stops. House fires, shootings and hit-and-run car accidents don’t take a day off – not on holidays, not on weekends. There are always people monitoring the news in the office here at NBC4 and consequently there is always a story to report. This past weekend, I spent my Saturday with an NBC reporter and photographer working into the late evening on a story about a police traffic stop that left a Maryland man paralyzed. While most of the working population enjoys their Saturday nights off, reporters work around the clock, constantly staying on top of the latest stories and keeping their viewers up to date on what’s going on.

    Interning with NBC4 has taught me so much about how a newsroom operates on a day-to-day basis. However, only venturing out into the field with reporters and photographers has taught me the dedication and perseverance that it takes to be a broadcast reporter. That Saturday, we worked all night to understand the events of the incident, capture the most important elements on camera, all while remaining objective and meeting our deadline. NBC4’s slogan is “Working 4 You,” and through field experiences like this, I’ve learned the depths that the team is willing to go to fulfill that promise.

  • socdeansintern 5:23 pm on October 10, 2019 Permalink  

    By Dean’s Intern Grace Vitaglione at Voice of… 

    By Dean’s Intern Grace Vitaglione at Voice of America

    Grace VitaglioneI’m a sophomore at AU and currently working as a Media Lab intern for Voice of America!

    The primary focus of this internship is writing headlines and editing news videos using Adobe Premiere. Our intern team makes videos for the Africa, Asia, America, Portuguese, and World channels. We also have the chance to do stand-up videos for American news and learn how to use the (very nice) video camera and tele-prompter.

    While the video editing skills I’ve learned are a huge plus, I also really enjoy the work environment of the Media Lab. Our supervisors are very patient and have a humor of their own, and all the interns have grown to be good friends over the course of the past few weeks. It definitely makes the day go by faster if you can tease your coworkers about their weird lunches (a single packet of Ritz crackers) or current obsessions (we now know way too much about Dungeons and Dragons).

    I’ve also found it really interesting to see how a huge broadcasting organization works behind the scenes, especially one that’s pretty unique in its ties to the federal government. Even though I never pictured myself working in broadcasting before this internship, I’ve learned so much at VOA that I could now definitely see myself in that field.

    Here is a link to a news video that I edited: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFs9KD7rH6o


  • socdeansintern 11:26 am on September 4, 2019 Permalink  

    Lessons Learned at NPR 

    By Dean’s Intern Jordan Tobias at NPR

    Jordan Tobias at NPRHello, everyone! I’m Jordan Tobias, and I’m an aspiring cultural reporter who just finished an internship at NPR.

    At the network, I was the production intern for Weekend Edition. My duties included research assignments, booking guest and studios, conducting pre-interviews, writing scripts, and producing stories! Below are a few lessons I learned this summer:

    1. Grasp hold of the type of journalist you aspire to be and the stories you want to share.
    During my interview for my internship, I shared that I wanted to amplify the stories of individuals in traditionally marginalized groups. But, I made the mistake of sharing ideas that I thought my team would enjoy when I first started pitching. I didn’t receive approval to produce pieces until after I pitched stories that align with my vision of diverse storytelling. I can’t speak for other newsrooms, but NPR wants and looks for distinct stories, but you just have to be comfortable enough to pitch them.

    2. Know that you are worthy of being in the room.
    Imposture syndrome is real, and it doesn’t go away. I once spoke with a seasoned journalist who told me that her nerves still get the best of her before she goes on air. But, she discredits her fear with the affirmation I’m sharing with you.

    3. Please network and maintain relationships.
    Each journalist that I made sure to connect with mentioned that networking paved the way for better opportunities in their career. But, don’t meet someone, have a great conversation, and then assume that you’ve built a connection. Have a strategy for and commitment to making stronger connections – this is the key to success.

    I look forward to seeing how the lessons I learned at NPR will contribute to my career journey.

  • socdeansintern 3:52 pm on August 28, 2019 Permalink  

    Leveraging Apollo’s 50th Anniversary for Future Missions 

    By Dean’s Intern Abbey Michaels at NASA’s Johnson Space Center

    Abbey MichaelsThis summer I worked at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. While I worked in several departments during my 8 month internship, my main role this past summer was supporting the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary. As part of my internship I helped to develop the strategic messaging and exhibits plan for 10 events in celebration of the historic moon landing.

    One of the most important aspects of this internship was leveraging the Apollo Anniversary to communicate to the public about NASA’s current and future missions. While my major is Film and Media, I think my overall background in communications helped me to be successful in this internship. I was able to use various writing and media skills that I would not have had without the classes that I took at AU.

    Overall this internship has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. Since many NASA interns continue on to work full time after graduation, the internship program is taken very seriously. Interns are given real responsibilities and treated like any other employee. As part of my summer internship, I acted as a liaison with the Houston Mayor’s office, held meetings where I briefed 400+ NASA employees, hosted an event with Apollo 10 astronaut General Thomas Stafford, was presented as 1 of 5 NASA women on the field at a Houston Dynamo game, and led 5 external events with 10,000 – 50,000 people in attendance. I have never had an internship that provided me with such enriching experiences and prepared me so well for life after graduation.

  • socdeansintern 3:48 pm on August 28, 2019 Permalink  

    Making a Difference in the Community: Local Journalism at NBC Washington 

    By Dean’s Intern Claire Savage at NBC4 Washington

    Claire SavageMy work as a Digital Intern at NBC Washington is varied, fun and challenging. I get to cover a huge range of topics, from politics to swimming to confederate statues to weekend activities and way more. I’ve also had the opportunity to reach a wider audience through three stories I wrote that were nationalized. Most importantly, I like covering local news because it reminds me every day that local journalism can make a real difference in people’s lives.

    A few broadcast videos I helped cut and edit for NBCWashington.com come to mind: In one story, NBC4 transportation reporter Adam Tuss shot a package about a dangerous intersection across the street from an elementary school in Southeast D.C.  Residents had been calling for months for a stop sign to be added, but had been unable to get an audience with DDOT. After NBC4’s reporting, the stop sign was added just in time for the start of the school year.

    In another story, because had NBC4 reported on multiple burglaries in the area, neighbors in Prince George’s County compared security footage and realized they had been robbed by the same person. The neighbors then sent the footage to the police and helped them arrest a suspect.

    It makes me feel proud to work for an organization that is integral in keeping the public informed and local government accountable. Reporting local news at NBC Washington makes me motivated to keep learning, growing and improving as a journalist. Every story, no matter how small, has the potential to change a life, and it’s an honor and a privilege to carry that responsibility at NBC Washington.

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