Producing Local Service Journalism at NBC4

By Dean’s Intern Skye Witley at NBC4 Washington

SkyeWitleyI was only two weeks deep at my internship with NBC4 Washington when I was assigned a hefty task by my editor: scour the legislative information systems in DC, Maryland, and Virginia for any new laws that would take effect on October 1, 2021. I spent several days reading through countless laws, some fascinating and some dry, and translating the most newsworthy for NBC4 readers. This article marked a shift in my reporting focus at the station, as I began to cover more stories that aligned with their slogan of “working for you.”

This fall, I’ve had the privilege of working as an intern on the digital desk of NBC’s local news station. In this role, I pitch and write daily stories for the station’s website, clip news packages from live broadcasts, and manage a host of other digital-related assignments. I’ve also had the opportunity to meet and learn from fascinating journalists like news director Michael Goldrick and investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer, who have shared valuable advice about entering the journalism field after graduation.

I’ve enjoyed adapting to NBC4’s shorter and punchier writing style while producing a variety of coverage at the station, including entertainment and hard news articles. Since writing that October laws piece, I’ve helped readers stay informed on a number of issues including the Virginia elections and alternative transportation options amid Metrorail shortages. This style of “what you should know” reporting has influenced how I prioritize the audience’s needs in my writing at NBC4 and beyond. I’m excited to continue covering local news as I wrap up the last month of my internship and will continue to find opportunities for more service journalism.

You can read my work here.