Hands-on Experience at NBC4-Washington

By Dean’schelseacatnbc Intern Chelsea Cirruzzo

As NBC4-Washington got ready for the opening of the new National Museum of African American History and Culture, I got to get in on the action by going to the concert-portion of the actual opening ceremony

After packing my portable phone charger, grabbing a notebook and practicing my introduction—“Hi, my name is Chelsea, and I’m with NBC4-Washington. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about the museum opening?”—I was off for a night I’ll never forget. The crowd was huge, dancing along to a live performance by Public Enemy, enjoying southern comfort food, and celebrating black history and culture with enthusiasm. I met folks from all over the country, of all ages, from all different backgrounds, all united to celebrate the museum’s opening.

In addition to live-tweeting the event, I got to interview people and take photos to send back to the newsroom. During the concert, I gained a lot of experience in writing concisely and quickly for social media, as well as in deciding what kinds of content people would respond most to on Twitter. At one point, Flavor Flav called on the crowd to put peace signs in the air and I quickly snapped a photo of the hundreds of people in that crowd, all putting their hands up in peace signs to share on Twitter. It was also interesting to interview people and hear their thoughts on the museum’s opening as many of them had inspiring stories and felt a lot of emotion around the museum’s opening. As I learned, the idea for the museum has been in the works for nearly 100 years, so people were ecstatic to see it finally built.

This experience opened my eyes to the changing nature of news. While I do sit down and write stories for the web at my internship, I also was delivering news live via a social media feed, as well as working collaboratively with other reporters in the field and in the newsroom in order to deliver multi-media content. It was fast-paced, exciting and unlike anything I’ve experienced before.

As cliché as it sounds, getting the chance to step out of the newsroom and into history was an amazing opportunity that I don’t think I could have gotten anywhere else.