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  • 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.

  • socdeansintern 3:41 pm on August 28, 2019 Permalink  

    A Closer Look at What Freedom Means 

    By Dean’s Intern Nthanze Kariuki

    Nthanze KariukiWhat is your favorite First Amendment right? This is a question posed to interns during a lunch with Jan Neuharth, the Chair and CEO of the Freedom Forum.  This question really got me thinking about the First Amendment rights on a more personal level. They are all obviously important, but at that point in time, I picked the right for people to freely assemble. Just by looking back at the crazy moments that have happened this year alone – with the protests currently happening in China against police brutality to the protests that happened in Sudan that led to a fall of a regime and protests in Puerto Rico that resulted in Governor Rosselló’s resignation, they all symbolize the power that the people hold and not governments or regimes. It’s hard to pick one, but my time at the Newseum got me thinking about the First Amendment a lot and how important this institution is for protecting these freedoms and understanding the importance of free press.

    On my first day, I got to sit in on interviews for Pulitzer Prize photography winners and it was inspiring to listen to journalists talk about their work that, even more so at this time when journalists are receiving a lot of backlash for their work. And as it turns out, my favorite exhibit is the Pulitzer Prize Photography gallery which highlights great moments and figures in time, while recognizing that journalism is still a dangerous job.

    I enjoyed putting into practice all the skills I learnt in class as a production assistant this summer at the Newseum. Plus, I gained even more valuable lessons working with Premiere Pro to edit footage for the galleries and it was great formulating and working with the exhibit team that put together the “Seriously Funny” exhibit – which explores the impact Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” had on American politics. I got to film and edit a video for a Dulles man first man on the moon exhibit installation and got to work on editing videos for the gallery called Lighter Side of News. It was an all-encompassing journey that I hope can continue even after the Newseum moves at the end of the year.


  • socdeansintern 2:45 pm on August 22, 2019 Permalink  

    At the Intersection of Journalism and Business Leadership 

    By Dean’s Intern Mia Perry at NPR

    Mia PerryThere are many perks to being an intern at the NPR headquarters; working outside on the fourth floor patio, sitting in the studio while Lakshmi Singh delivers the news with perfect timing, getting #free-food notifications on your NPR Slack channel, and sneaking away from your workspace to see the Tiny Desk concerts. (I saw Ty Dolla $ign and Damian Marley perform, but I missed Lizzo and the Jonas Brothers.)

    Although there are a multitude of other ways to spice up the daily work routine at NPR, my assignments were always interesting on their own. My internship created an almost perfect intersection of my journalism major and business leadership minor.

    My main assignment on the Business Partnership and Strategy team was managing a six-week project that analyzed the profits and losses of the organization’s Digital Media products. This involved scheduling meetings, leading interviews with product owners, delegating project tasks, and designing the best ways of communication between the team that I lead and the teams we needed information from.

    I also had to do a bit of recording and crunching numbers in Excel. Thankfully—through the Emma Bowen Foundation—the Dow Jones News Fund sponsored me as one of 15 fellows to attend a data journalism training in May which refined my skills in the software. I took Professor Tran’s Quantitative Methods for Journalists course last spring which also came in handy during my internship.

    I presented the findings to my team, two of the organization’s Vice Presidents and a financial manager. I felt proud to know that my work would directly impact future business decisions in the Digital Media department.

    Reflecting on my internship, I am most grateful for the opportunities to have meaningful assignments, experience a work-life balance, and make connections. Many of the internships I’ve had in the past have only allowed me one of those. The executives, directors, and editors I networked with at NPR were genuinely friendly and interested in my success. I look forward to their continued mentorship and guest passes to Tiny Desk concerts.


  • socdeansintern 2:33 pm on August 14, 2019 Permalink  

    From Press Briefings to Mass Shootings – My Summer was One to Remember 

    By Dean’s Intern Leanna Faulk at CNN

    Leanna FaulkThis summer, I had the opportunity to intern with CNN at their international headquarters in Atlanta, GA. I worked within the National Desk department alongside a team of domestic news editors where we chased stories, interviewed sources, and assisted reporters on the field.

    My day started at 7 am in our daily meeting in the “War Room” where writers, producers, and editors throughout the Bureau updated the team on everything and anything newsworthy around the country and beyond. This is where I would take notes on all of the stories we were following and also had the opportunity to pitch a few stories I felt CNN should be covering.

    The rest of my day consisted of monitoring developing stories via social media, affiliate reporting, listening in on police scanners and congressional hearings. After I’d gathered all of the facts – I’d prepare a brief editorial synopsis which was then emailed to the entire international news staff across all platforms (this is where reporters and writers get their information).

    I spent a lot of my downtime working with the Digital & Trending team to help write stories for CNN.com. One of my favorite stories that I wrote was about a Georgia couple who died within hours of each other. This sad yet loving story was one of the top-performing stories on all socials that day and earned over 1,000,000 views within the first 48 hours. I even got a shout-out from the President of CNN at our 9 am daily news briefing.

    A few weeks later, only twenty minutes before my shift was about to end, we got a minor alert about a possible mass shooting at a garlic festival in California – with only two people (including myself) working at the news desk. After reaching out to possible victims via Twitter and calling into local businesses in the Gilroy area, my supervisor and I confirmed the shooting and an eight-hour workday quickly turned into 13. Covering the Gilroy shooting, followed by two more mass shootings in the following week, was a heartbreaking but vital task. Though it felt surreal to record history, I would trade anything to make this the last shooting I ever cover.

  • socdeansintern 2:20 pm on August 13, 2019 Permalink  

    On the Fly Editorial Decisions for WAMU’s 1A 

    By Dean’s Intern Orion Donovan-Smith at WAMU

    Orion Donovan-SmithI’m capping off my year in AU’s graduate journalism program with an internship at 1A, a weekday talk radio program produced by WAMU and distributed by NPR. The two-hour show airs on nearly 250 stations across the country and reaches an average of four million listeners a week, with topics ranging from breaking news (typically in the first hour) to arts and culture (usually in the second). The show stands out among NPR’s programming for its heavy use of listener engagement — through voicemails, social media posts, and occasionally live calls.

    For most of the summer, my main role was to edit the 1A podcast, filling in when the regular editor was away. The trouble was I’d never edited audio, much less a podcast. Thankfully, the 1A team has been great to work with and gave me a crash course in the first weeks of the internship, and by the time I took over the podcast I had the basics down.

    Still, it was a real challenge to turn the product around in just a few hours each afternoon. While 1A typically dedicates a full hour to a single topic, the podcast has to be cut down to 35 minutes, based on data on how long a podcast most people are willing to listen to. That means cutting not only elements specific to a live show — calls for listeners to tweet their questions, for instance — but also whole chunks of a conversation. I also had to write extra, podcast-specific tracks for the host to read to make the transformation from live show to podcast as seamless as possible.

    With just a few hours between a show’s airing and the deadline to submit a finished podcast, those on-the-fly editorial decisions I had to make were the toughest part of editing the podcast. After a few weeks in the role, I felt more confident and was thankful for the 1A team giving me that responsibility. I’ve now handed the podcast back over to the regular editor and will spend the last few weeks of the internship focused on producing shows.

  • socdeansintern 11:01 am on August 12, 2019 Permalink  

    Podcasting in Spanish 

    By Dean’s Intern Cindy Choi at NBC4 Washington

    Cindy ChoiI started working as a digital intern for NBC Washington in May after I graduated from the journalism graduate program at American University.

    I was eager to work for the digital team to become a better writer and showcase my digital skill set. My responsibilities were to write and produce stories for online with a focus on video creation. I had opportunities to shoot video and write digital stories for various assignments, like honeybee sustainability and a burger eating contest.

    The most interesting project I worked on was creating a podcast in Spanish for Telemundo 44. Prior to my graduate studies, I’ve worked as the sound engineer for season one of “Felonious Florida,” a true-crime podcast that explores notorious murders in the Sunshine State. My experience led me to help launch the podcast project on MS-13 threats in the District and complete three episodes.

    For two weeks, I gathered reporter’s scripts, collected sound effects and music to recreate the broadcast packages. I learned how sound was different between TV and audio, so the reporter’s re-tracked their script in an audio booth.

    The challenge was understanding the story and adding the right pause in the track for emphasis. Both teams at NBC Washington and Telemundo 44 were helpful and patient as I edited sound. The podcast has not been aired yet, but I hope I did a good job and look forward to hearing the episodes online.

    Thanks to this amazing opportunity, I became a better multimedia journalist with strong content to show on my website.

  • socdeansintern 11:44 am on August 9, 2019 Permalink  

    A Collaborative and Creative Experience at PBS 

    By Dean’s Intern Molly Page at PBS

    Molly PageAfter spending this past summer at PBS Headquarters as their Multi-platform Production and Content Intern, I can confidently say that my skills and knowledge within the film industry have soared far beyond my expectations, and I’ve gained an incredible amount of experience that I am immensely grateful for.

    Almost immediately upon starting at PBS, it became very clear to me that this internship was not your typical internship: there was no such thing as doing busy work, getting coffee for superiors, doing random administrative tasks, etc. Instead, I was given a full plate of producing projects, assisting the head Multi-platform Producers with creating show pages and deliverables, negotiating with streaming services, and producing my own set of programming client shows at PBS with all of the tasks that entailed (including fixing, editing, and/or creating show logos, previews, and extended trailers; writing show copy; uploading episodes to streaming sites after performing thorough QA; communicating with outside production studios and producers, etc.). However, being that PBS is an immensely collaborative and creative environment, my day-to-day tasks were not limited to producing – I also was fortunate enough to work on several other projects, including fully managing and running PBS Arts’ online and social media presence; interviewing filmmakers, editing video assets, and creating promotional material for the 2019 PBS Online Film Festival; working alongside PBS KIDS content creators in the animation and video game design realms; and assisting documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and his PBS team on producing the “Country Music PBS” website for his upcoming film.

    Perhaps the greatest surprise during my time at PBS was our impromptu intern visit to WETA’s station, where we were offered the chance to sit down, ask questions, and talk thoroughly with the head host of PBS’ NewsHour, Judy Woodruff, and international correspondent Nick Schifrin, while also getting to go through a mock-broadcast in the NewsHour studio, in which we learned how the lighting, camera, and broadcast teams all function together for a live news broadcast recording.

    Overall, my time has been absolutely wonderful at PBS, and I wish that I never had to leave!

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