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  • socdeansintern 2:48 pm on July 21, 2021 Permalink  

    Learning Curve at Current 

    Kayla and Anna

    Me and Anna, working at her apartment for the day.

    By Dean’s Intern Kayla Benjamin at Current

    In one episode of The Office, Michael, confused about a financial concept, says to Oscar: “explain it to me like I’m five.” My first week interning with Current, I found myself speaking with a public radio CEO and a famous jazz music reporter for my first story. My knowledge of the public media world was limited; my knowledge of jazz was nonexistent. In interviews, I wanted to say to people, “please – explain it to me like I’m an intern.”

    Working in the virtual environment has also been a learning curve for me, too – even after 2 and a half semesters of online school. It takes more initiative to ask for a video call over Slack than to start a conversation with someone at the next desk over. So, once every couple weeks, the other Current summer intern, Anna Brugmann, and I pick a day and work together in person. I’m more productive and more creative when I leave my apartment and work in a more collaborative environment – even with just one other person.

    Five stories and seven weeks later, I’ve learned a ton about how I can set myself up for success in the workplace, even a virtual one. I’ve also learned a lot about how public media works (and a few things about jazz). With each assignment, I feel a little less like I’ve been thrown into the deep end and a little more like I’m at least diving in on purpose. Still, with each new piece, I’ve also made new mistakes, from missing embarrassing typos to forgetting to quote important voices. It’s a steep learning curve, but I try not to make the same mistakes twice.

  • socdeansintern 12:17 pm on May 7, 2021 Permalink  

    Soggy shoes and intrepid news: Current covers the White House 

    By Dean’s Intern Braeden Waddell at Current

    December 2019

    Braeden WaddellThis semester working at Current as an Editorial Intern has been one of the most exciting professional experiences in my life. I’ve done a little bit of everything, and I loved every second of it. Aside from regularly writing stories on a variety of issues in the realm of public media, I also reported on a Twitch live stream, videotaped the opening day first-ever full exhibition of Bob Ross paintings, and traveled to a museum covering

    But, the wildest experience I had while working at Current was getting a press pass to attend an award ceremony at the White House where President Trump handed out the National Medal of Arts.

    Politics aside, the experience was wonderful. After passing through security, I looked around confused as to where the press briefing room was located. I met a producer for a public media organization in the Czech Republic who took me under his wing, guiding me through the winding pathway into a room of reporters preparing for the ceremony.

    I waited for a while, taking too many selfies and chatting with other reporters.

    Then it began: a mass exodus of reporters emerged from the back area of the briefing room and filed outside, cameras and notepads in hand. I followed suit, and found myself standing out in the brisk November air.

    Sprinklers started going off around us, and before long a small river formed in the path leading up to the White House entrance, soaking many fancy pairs of shoes, mine included. But even then, I never got cold feet.

    A White House official led us into the main building and into the room where the awards would be presented. As we took our spots behind the audience, she yelled: “reporters, get back here!”

    We’d literally overstepped our boundaries.

    Once the flustered White House aids had rounded us all up, we waited while listening to beautiful classical music played by members of a military band.

    All at once, every camera in the room turned toward the door as Vice President Mike Pence entered the room. The sounds of clamoring reporters were quickly drowned out in applause.

    The ceremony began, and Trump entered the room. He passed out the medals and recognized each recipient, sometimes going off-script to comment positively or negatively on each individual’s history in relationship to himself and his administration.

    Before I even knew it, the ceremony was over and we were rushed out.

    Another reporter was trying to take a selfie on an iPad outside the White House with little success. I took his photo, and he took mine, and we walked out together.
    He told me he’d been there many times before, and told me he hoped to see me there again someday.

    I hope so too.

  • socdeansintern 12:32 pm on May 6, 2021 Permalink  

    Supporting Journalism at the National Press Foundation 

    By Dean’s Intern Daniella Ignacio at the National Press Foundation

    December 2019

    Daniella IgnacioNPF is an organization that offers training programs and awards for professional journalists across the U.S. and internationally. Every day is always so different and I’m grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve had to learn and grow this semester. From honing my skills in Photoshop and InDesign while designing final reports about NPF programs, to using social media to promote the organization, there are so many skills I’m learning here that apply to journalism.

    My favorite days are program days, which are always so fascinating because I have the opportunity to learn about all the different topics that the programs focus on, promote them on social media and meet cool journalists and speakers. I consider it the equivalent of taking several media studies classes while interning. Topics covered during sessions I’ve observed include covering impeachment, local and federal reporting, FOIA and reporting on the courts.

    The day I wrote this blog, NPF had its Spotlight on Statehouse and Local Reporting training. I wrote a story on a session about covering local issues in public health. Right after that session, I traveled with the fellows and NPF staff to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, where we learned from economists about how to use BLS data – which was an incredible experience to have the day before my Quantitative Methods for Journalists final! I’ll be continuing my internship into next semester and am excited to continue working with this incredible organization.

  • socdeansintern 3:33 pm on April 13, 2021 Permalink  

    Diving Deep into Rapid-Response Communications at New Paradigm Agency 

    By Dean’s Intern Schanelle Saldanha at New Paradigm Agency

    SchanelleSaldanhaThis semester, I’ve gotten to chance to work as a Communications Intern with New Paradigm Agency, progressive, data-driven public affairs and communications consulting firm. My experience has been nothing short of enriching and informative, as I’ve been able to work with a variety of clients and pressing issues.

    Over the course of the semester, I have had the opportunity to delve into the rapid-response communications world by assisting with social media content, drafting and developing pitch lists and press releases, and executing several research projects and funder reports. Most importantly, I’ve gotten the chance to work with organizations that are striving to enact positive change in the world – from immigration reform to women’s health. Being able to use the communications skills I have learned to help elevate and inform the public about these causes has been an incredibly rewarding aspect of the job and has made me fall in love with our work even more.

    With only a few weeks left, I am looking forward to continuing to learn all that NP and the professional communications world have to offer me! It’s been a wonderful experience so far and I’m grateful to have had such an invaluable internship!


  • socdeansintern 1:00 pm on April 2, 2021 Permalink  

    Covering the Hill for Southwest Colorado 

    By Dean’s Intern Grace George at The Durango Herald

    Grace GeorgeWorking with The Durango Herald has been one of the best experiences of my undergraduate career. As an intern with The Herald, I have been able to improve my writing and reporting skills immensely while working with great editors. It has been such a meaningful experience that has helped me gain more confidence as a young journalist. I have been able to interview senators and a congresswoman, see my writing in print, and cover national news for a localized audience. I have deeply enjoyed writing stories about important political events, such as former President Trump’s second impeachment trial or the passage of the COVID Relief bill, in unique ways that connect with the interests of Southwest Colorado.
    Every article I have written for The Herald has been a learning experience. It has definitely been challenging at times, but also extremely fulfilling, and I feel myself growing as a journalist every day.
  • socdeansintern 12:24 pm on March 22, 2021 Permalink  

    Diving into the Comms World at New Paradigm Agency 

    By Dean’s Intern Emily Arndt at New Paradigm Agency

    Emily ArndtThough I’m not new to the professional world, I am new to the comms world as I transition my career to communications! I’m lucky to have gotten my feet wet at New Paradigm Agency, a full-service and data-driven communications, strategic planning and research firm, as a communications intern.  NP works with a variety of clients working on progressive issues such as immigration, progressive campaigns, and education.

    I’ve had the opportunity to work on a number of those issues and it feels great to work on causes I care deeply about alongside game-changing community partners. I’ve had the opportunity to produce a variety of communications outputs for clients, from social media content to funder updates to reporter lists. An added bonus of working with a diverse set of clients and issues is becoming a more well-rounded professional as I gain more knowledge about subjects I hadn’t previously been exposed to.

    It’s also been exciting to work on issues with clients as they become more salient in the news cycle. There are exciting days at NP where an issue we’ve been working on has suddenly gained more traction and we can see real results of our work in real time. Every day at NP is different and every day presents new learning opportunities. I’m grateful for the opportunity to grow as a burgeoning comms professional at a firm that is contributing to America’s most pressing issues.

  • socdeansintern 3:38 pm on March 17, 2021 Permalink  

    Creating Content for a Global Audience at Voice of America 

    By Dean’s Intern Sophia Solano at Voice of America

    Sophia SolanoAs an intern for Voice of America’s Student Union, a web page and online community that focuses primarily on international students in the U.S., I’ve begun thinking globally. For three years, my reporting has centered around life in the District. Now, with a global audience, I’m creating content about important issues all around the world, from Tibet to Indonesia to Colombia. In a socially-distanced pandemic world, it’s incredible to be able to connect with people from all corners of the globe and walks of life, and to talk to them about things that matter to them.

    Everyday is a whirlwind. I work with my editor, professional journalist Kathleen Struck, to report breaking news and global trends that impact international students. We have a wonderful team of interns who meet weekly and work together daily to create content for our web and social media pages. Even though it’s a remote internship, it really feels like a newsroom community, something many journalists say they’re missing right now.

    Best of all, I’m able to report important stories for our audience, including the effect of the Capitol riots on international students, college students’ COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, and the impact of the Chinese/American trade war on international student enrollment and college finances. With more stories in the works, this internship has heightened my journalism skills and love of the field immensely. Working at VOA makes me excited to enter the world of professional journalism!

  • socdeansintern 10:47 am on March 9, 2021 Permalink  

    Reporting the News Through a Public Media Lens 

    By Dean’s Intern Stephanie Mirah at Current

    Stephanie MirahDuring my internship with Current, I have taken on a beat that I have always loved but never tried: the media. Every Monday and Wednesday, I spend my day talking to podcast hosts, public media employees, and community members to tell rich stories about what is happening in the public media sector. My most recent story is about a new podcast initiative co-funded by Richmond’s public media organization, VPM, and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Institute for Contemporary Art. For that story, I had the opportunity to talk to NPR’s underwriting announcer, Dr. Chioke I’Anson, which was sort of a fangirl moment for me. You may have heard I’Anson’s voice if you’ve ever listened to an NPR program. He is the person who comes in during your program to say: “Support for NPR…”

    Outside of my internship at Current, I am the arts and entertainment editor for AU’s student newspaper, The Eagle. Something I have loved about Current is that I have been able to cover arts and culture-related stories through a public media lens. I recently wrote a story about a podcast host from San Diego’s KPBS who created a podcast on the tenets of American culture.

    While I wish I had the opportunity to go into work and interact with my editors and fellow writers face to face, the support I’ve received from them virtually has been invaluable. I can’t wait to see what I get to report on next!

    Here is a link to my author page: https://current.org/author/stephanie-mirah/

  • socdeansintern 10:39 am on March 9, 2021 Permalink  

    Covering the Fast-Paced World of Public Media 

    By Dean’s Intern Skye Witley at Current

    Skye WitleyI was unfamiliar with the niche public media beat when I joined Current, but having a solid foundation in reporting from journalism classes and writing for The Eagle made the transition easier than I expected. Each week, Current’s fantastic editors push me to improve my writing and encourage me to pitch my own stories. In fact, my latest article for the publication was one I pitched to them.

    In early February, I noticed a Twitter thread about the founder of a California nonprofit newsroom and thought the allegations made against him deserved a closer look. Roughly a week into my reporting on the subject, the organization’s board of directors suddenly announced they were dissolving the entire nonprofit, after an 11-year existence. At that point, the newsroom had received little public attention about the allegations outside of Twitter. To say the least, it was a baffling and unexpected development.

    The next week, I published my article detailing the downfall of a small but mighty nonprofit. It quickly became my most read article, racking up over 3,500 views in the first week of its publication. The article also generated fascinating conversations between journalism professionals about diversity, equity and inclusion on Twitter and email listservs.

    Covering public media as an intern for Current has undoubtedly accelerated my growth as an up-and-coming journalist and I’m excited to use the skills I’ve developed this spring at future opportunities.

    All of my articles for Current are available here: https://current.org/author/skye-witley/


  • socdeansintern 10:33 am on March 9, 2021 Permalink  

    Creating Videos and Adhering to Deadlines at VOA 

    By Dean’s Intern Jessily Crispyn at Voice of America

    Jessily CrispynInterning at Voice of America’s Media Lab this semester has been such a rewarding and insightful experience. At the VOA60 Media Lab, my day starts at 8:00 a.m., when I am assigned which section I have to create a video for that day by my supervisor. After receiving my task, I scour VOA’s media sources to locate five news events from around the world that pertain to my section. I then create headlines for each story, send them to be edited and begin creating a 60-second video.

    Once my headlines are edited, I input them into my video, finish editing and then export my product into an online server. Afterward, I upload the original version to VOA60’s social media pages. The videos have to be uploaded by a strict deadline, which means that I have to ensure that my product is error-free and submitted on time.

    I am currently interning from home, which is an interesting experience. I live with three other AU students, so the WiFi in our apartment sometimes becomes unstable. This requires me to quickly move from room to room in search of enough stable WiFi so that I can upload my files by my deadline—which my roommates have informed me looks very silly.

    I really appreciate this internship because I can hone my video editing and writing skills, while also learning how to work under a tight deadline. These are helpful tools that will assist me in my future career as a broadcast journalist.

    Here are a few videos that I created:





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