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  • socdeansintern 3:20 pm on July 18, 2017 Permalink  

    Persistence and Luck Go Hand in Hand with Investigative Reporting 

    By Dean’s Intern Amanda McLaren at The Washington Post

    It has been an extraordinary privilege to serve as the Dean’s Intern at the The Washington Post for the past three semesters. Throughout, the team here has allowed me to pursue my passion for education reporting, allowing me to gain incredibly valuable — and rewarding — experience.

    Most recently, the Post published a story I co-reported with Emma Brown, the national education reporter, on the District’s private-school voucher program. With $15 million in taxpayer money going to the program each year and the Trump’s administration’s pledge to increase that amount, we wanted to find out where exactly those dollars were going. Were students able to use the program to escape struggling public schools for high-performing private ones? Were students with disabilities getting a fair shot at accessing the program?

    What we discovered was more murkiness than transparency, as the program administrator refused to divulge how many students — and how much money — participating private schools were getting. In turn, we decided to call the schools ourselves, which led to a hodge-podge of information. Of the 15 schools we spoke with, we discovered that while some were enrolling a large percentage of voucher students, others (notably, what would be considered the District’s “elite” private schools) were taking few, if any, voucher students each year.

    Interestingly, when we compared the D.C. voucher program to other programs nationwide, we found that other state programs were even more opaque.

    I wish I had kept count of how many phone calls (and how many games of phone tag!) I made in order to report that story. It was another reminder that investigative reporting requires a lot of persistence and a little bit of luck.

    As I finish out my internship at the Post, I will continue to keep those lessons in mind.

  • socdeansintern 11:09 am on July 18, 2017 Permalink  

    Learning the Ins and Outs of Audio Production 

    By Dean’s Intern Kayla Lattimore at NPR

    My time at the NPR Education Desk has been one of the most fulfilling learning experiences of my academic career. I’ve had the ability to work with the team collecting audio for stories and reporting on long term stories and assignments. One of the most rewarding parts of this internship has been learning the ins and outs of audio production. I’ve had the chance to get my feet wet and start to build a passion for radio storytelling.

    The best part of my time here at NPR has been the opportunity to pitch stories to the team and have them published on the NPR Education Blog.  For summer,  I wrote a piece called Summer Reading For Your Woke Kid where I selected a list of socially conscious books for kids in grade school who want to learn about social movements and activism. It was NPR Book’s best story of the week which was pretty exciting.

    I then pitched another story that centered around the racialization of dress codes in schools, called When Black Hair Violates The Dress Code, and how they target black female students. This piece I am most proud of because I spent weeks reporting and talking to researchers to build the story and working with my editor to make it come to life. When it was published it was the top three story on the NPR website which was a huge accomplishment for me and made me proud of my work. What I learned working for NPR is invaluable and look forward to taking it with me as I go on through my career.

  • socdeansintern 10:55 am on July 18, 2017 Permalink  

    Another Day in the Cave 

    By Dean’s Intern Sam Pond at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

    It was promising to be nothing more than an average Tuesday at the Air & Space Museum. I was not exactly excited to drag my tired body all the way down to the Mall. But I did. When I arrived at the office I was greeted, per usual, with the piles of virtual files in disarray in the basement editing suite, aptly nick-named the Cave. Normally, I’m excited to sift through to find the hidden gems of silly bloopers from the show STEM in 30, but today, I was tired. However, that day did turn out to be different. I was pulled up to the conference room into an intern meeting I’d forgotten we had. And there was the guest of honor, NASA’s head astronaut Pat Forrester. Of course, I had gone through mounds of video footage compiled by my supervisors, which featured astronauts like Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin, but I had never met one before. He gave a presentation describing what he does for NASA, his four spaceflights and his time working on the international space station. But the best part was by far his reassurance that we, the interns, don’t need to figure out immediately what we want to do in the future. Maybe this internship will be a great stop on my way forward towards film or towards something else, but what I learned was that I don’t need to know that now. It was an awesome experience and there are even more astronauts coming this summer. I’m excited to get to work filming them.

  • socdeansintern 11:14 am on July 17, 2017 Permalink  

    There is No Expiration for Hard Work 

    By Dean’s Intern Griffin Rowell at Current.org

    Recently, I wrapped up a story where I profiled a 74-year-old journalism intern at a Florida public radio station. The man has a stellar resume, which includes multiple Emmy and Peabody awards, time spent as a combat correspondent covering the Vietnam war, as well as a litany of books across several genres. Speaking to someone with such a passion for storytelling and journalism, a strong lust for life, and a serious sense of humor, was really inspiring to me, as well as our readers, some of which have reached out  in order to thank me for telling the man’s story. It gave me great joy to detail the life of such a positive creative force to readers, especially now at a time where it feels like all the news is bad. Doing this story reminded me that there is not an expiration date for hard work, and that it is important to engage the millions of senior citizens who just need a little help to get back into the profession they love, or to join a new one entirely. Going forward in my time in the communications field, I want to continue to shed light on stories that have a real potential to inspire others, and put our own lives into perspective.



  • socdeansintern 11:26 am on May 2, 2017 Permalink  

    A Front Row Seat into Documentary Production 

    By Dean’s Intern Kelly Vaughen at Voice of America

    My time as an intern at Voice of America has been rewarding in so many ways. I was hired as a production intern in the documentary unit. I work with acclaimed producers, and have a front row seat to the process of making a documentary from start to finish.

    The film is about the terrorist organization, Boko Haram, and the impact they have had throughout Nigeria. Working on a film with such an important message was inspiring and daunting. I was involved with research, finding interviews, and the coordination of producing a film in the United States, which is being shot in Nigeria.

    Not only was I able to help with the film, I was also able to work with the VOA investigative unit. I helped with research on multiple projects, and learned tips and tricks of investigative reporting from seasoned professionals.

    One of the most rewarding aspects of my internships came from just being in the massive establishment that is Voice of America. The main news room has reporters covering every beat you can think of, in every different medium. Not only are there professionals around every corner, the entire newsroom is so willing to share their knowledge. It truly amazed me how everyone at VOA was invested in my success and so willing to help.

    I wish I could stay on through for the final production of the film, but cannot wait to see it, and take pride in my contribution.


  • socdeansintern 11:14 am on May 2, 2017 Permalink  

    An Inside Look at Boko Haram 

    By Dean’s Intern Sam Ferguson at Voice of America

    Probably one of the most interesting days I have had so far was when the full creative team took a look at over 18 hours of film shot by the Boko Haram.  For a whole week, the writer, editor, two producers, and expert Jacob Zenn went over ever clip to talk about the significance of the video and how it could be used in our documentary.  It was an amazing in depth look at how professionals analyze a video, thinking about the bigger picture.

    Probably the most interesting moment was when we looked at clips of Boko Haram kids break dancing.  First off, that goes against Shaira laws which is ironic from a group whose name literally translates to “western influence is a sin.”

    But also, the scene shows horrible killers/rapists looking just like a bunch of kids playing around.  One second they are laughing about who can dance the best, the next they are playing with their AK-47s.  Probably the next day, they will raid a town or cut somebody’s head off.

    It was surreal to see exports and filmmakers get all giddy about a clip of a few kids just playing around.  It showed me that there is something very powerful about context to a simple scene.


  • socdeansintern 10:27 am on April 3, 2017 Permalink  

    Just Another Day at Discovery 

    Day 1 as a Discovery INtern with Dean’s Intern Carson Creehan

    Day 1 as a Discovery INtern with Dean’s Intern Carson Creehan

    By Dean’s Intern Alexia Nal at Discovery Communications

    I’m already half way through my internship and I can hardly believe it. These past few weeks have flown by way too fast.

    As I reflect on my time here, I cannot help but think about the great lessons I have learned from my internship at TLC. One of the biggest lessons I have learned at Discovery is there is no such thing as an average day in the office, especially in the TLC publicity department. Everyday that I show up for my internship, I am never sure of what I should expect. My tasks vary from pulling clips from airing television shows to compiling press hits, to many other tasks. I love being able to watch my beginner skills I was developing in the classrooms of AU, blossom into stronger professional skills throughout my internship.

    The two shows I have been given the opportunity to put my hands on are My Big Fat Fabulous Life and Counting On. Because it’s television and people are so attracted to the curiosity TLC stimulates, everything is extremely fast paced. It is important for me as an intern to stay organized, on task and focused. Often times my manager will throw tasks at me, but then the VP of Publicity of TLC will contact me and request me to assist her with creating a press release for bringing back my childhood favorite television show Trading Spaces. It has been the internship of a lifetime being able to work for a well-respected brand and enhance my PR skills. I am excited to see where my experience at TLC takes me!

  • socdeansintern 10:52 am on March 30, 2017 Permalink  

    Moving Fast at the Newseum 

    TrentBurnsPhotoBy Dean’s Intern Trent Burns at the Newseum

    I had plenty of expectations going into my internship at the Newseum, but organization-wide layoffs weren’t among them. Roughly three weeks into my time here, an unexpected round of staff cuts left the Video & Interactive Productions department scrambling to reorganize itself. As an intern, this meant more work and greater responsibility would be falling on my shoulders for the rest of this semester – a challenge which I happily, if nervously, accepted.

    Museums, it turns out, can be surprisingly fast-paced environments. Between internal content for exhibits and materials for external promotion, it feels like every week of this experience has added new projects to our already busy schedule. Along with fellow Dean’s Intern Madison Long, I’m responsible for producing recurring content like our bi-weekly “Lighter Side of News” segment or the museum’s monthly “Virtual Reality Highlights” experience. In addition, we are often asked to contribute to projects like “Experts On-Air Highlights”  or “Newseum Nights: In Bloom”, which are used to promote the museum and its events online. Working on a number of diverse projects keeps us busy and, more importantly, is teaching me to keep my editing flexible and my workflow concise.

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  • socdeansintern 10:36 am on March 30, 2017 Permalink  

    An Inside Look at the Smithsonian 

    IMG_5499_editedBy Dean’s Intern Agnes Erskine at the Smithsonian

    Built in 1849, the Smithsonian Castle is charming and bustling with character; it’s also where I spend my time editing videos for the Smithsonian Insider. Steps away from the National Mall and nearly all the Smithsonian’s museums and attractions, it’s the perfect location for becoming completely immersed in all that the Smithsonian Institution has to offer. My first project was an in-depth look inside the visually stunning Horace Poolaw exhibit in the National Museum of the American Indian. Today, we’re at the Smithsonian’s latest addition to its family of museums. Visiting hours are 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., but it’s 9:00 a.m. on a Wednesday and the National Museum of African American History and Culture is already buzzing with the sounds of people milling about. Guest Services staff members preparing for their day’s duties gather for a pre-shift meeting on my left; to my right the museum’s Founding Director, Lonnie Bunch hosts two guests on a personal tour, and directly in front of me is my camera capturing Museum Specialist, Tulani Salahu-Din. She is introducing Smithsonian Insider viewers to the “Making A Way” exhibit on the third floor of the museum.

    (More …)

  • socdeansintern 1:36 pm on March 20, 2017 Permalink  

    The Daily Grind 

    DanielBarnesBlogPhotoBy Dean’s Intern Daniel Barnes at NBC4

    Keeping up with the daily news of D.C. can be daunting for a television station, even more so for its website.

    As an intern for NBC Washington’s digital team, I’m responsible for helping with all sorts of content that appears on our website and app. Sometimes I’m writing stories for the website based off TV stories that have already been done and sometimes I’m writing digital only stories. Sometimes I’m pitching stories I want to write and sometimes I’m getting assignments. Sometimes I’m cutting videos from the broadcasts and posting them on our website and sometimes I’m posting AP stories that I find on the wire. Whatever I’m doing on any given day, I know it will be challenging work that makes me utilize every skill I’ve learned in school. (More …)

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