News In the Time of Covid

By Dean’s Intern Kelsey Carolan at CBS This Morning

Kelsey Caloran

I’m Kelsey Carolan and I interned for the medical unit on CBS This Morning this summer! CBS This Morning is CBS’ weekday morning show that emphasizes national and international news, hosted by Gayle King, Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil. During my time with the show, I participated in production meetings, pitched stories, researched news to be featured in our stories and found people to interview.

I never really expected to learn so much about the coronavirus during such a short amount of time. Since I interned with the medical team, I worked on features about the lingering symptoms that COVID survivors were dealing with and the mental health of healthcare workers. Through trying to find people to interview and researching new developments of the virus as well as watching different Q&As, I learned so much more than I already knew about the pandemic and how multi-faceted it is. Reporting on it simply is not about just reporting statistics and the facts – it is about how schools are going to reopen, how nurses are handling long shifts, how survivors are still crippled with symptoms that may last for a long time and so much more. I realized how many important stories can come out of this pandemic – sad and extremely personal ones – and through this, how important it is to seek out stories that may not be known or thought about.

Each day, I was able to join one of the production Zoom meetings. I looked forward to these because I got to learn what it would be like to be a producer on a network show and what the process of pitching, scheduling and booking is like. I even pitched two of my own stories! While I am trained in print (and was intimidated at first), I quickly realized that working on a show like this is something I really want to do now. Without this experience, I don’t think I would have figured that out.

Another aspect of the internship program that I loved were the Zoom calls with CBS News legends like journalists Susan Zirinsky (an AU alum!), Jim Axelrod, Steve Hartman and many more. It was great to get advice from professionals who have spent so much time in the field and have really seen it all throughout their careers (Z basically has reported on every event from Watergate to Tinanmen Square to 9/11 so she had amazing stories).

I am extremely grateful that CBS continued with a virtual internship program this summer and I hope to return to the network one day!

Link to story I helped work on: