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  • 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:

  • 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:


  • 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:

  • socdeansintern 2:29 pm on February 24, 2021 Permalink

    Full Speed Ahead at Strauss Media Strategies 

    By Dean’s Intern Evan Lenneville-Hutchinson at Strauss Media Strategies

    Evan Working From HomeMy time at Strauss Media Strategies has been a whirlwind. Every week I have learned new industry terminology, worked on several different projects and met a new member of the team. I have worked with large agency clients, with all of the benefits of a boutique firm.
    For my most recent projects, I have been involved in strategizing a new social media plan for the agency. I am working with my fellow interns to develop posting schedules and drive traffic to our different social channels. Additionally, I have been developing final reports, cutting audio, and conducting media monitoring for many of our recent campaigns.
    Despite us being fully remote, my coordinators have been hard at work to make sure we are still connected. Just this last week we had a fun meeting where we learned about pitching and how to book interviews, and all the interns got to take some time to get to know each other.
    I have been enjoying my time at Strauss Media Strategies so far, and have enjoyed the variety of work I have been involved in. The experience I am gaining here is quite valuable, and the connections I am developing are even more so.
  • socdeansintern 2:12 pm on February 24, 2021 Permalink

    Exploring New Documentary Topics at VOA 

    By Dean’s Intern Vanessa Montalbano at Voice of America

    Vanessa MontalbanoAs a returning intern to the Documentary and Special Projects Unit at Voice of America, I jumped right back into my position. Since day one, my supervisor, Beth Mendelson, and I have been juggling multiple tasks. She and I work together dynamically at a one-on-one level, so I have had the unique opportunity to learn the ropes of being an effective producer and director firsthand. What I particularly like about this internship is that I am learning the behind the scenes inner-workings of this job that I likely wouldn’t have learned in the classroom. A lot more goes into making a documentary than just telling a really great story—though that is a critical part.

    Most of my work thus far has been research-oriented, as we are exploring new film ideas. Once we pick a potential topic, we brainstorm different angles and write up a film proposal based on what we found to be the most interesting. Right now we have around four possible documentary topics which we are planning to develop before sending them off for pre-production approval. This, in particular, has been a really fulfilling experience for me because I am able to see the research that I have done come to fruition, as it is certainly driving forward the process of creating a complete film treatment. In addition to this, my supervisor and I also are working on the final touches of the documentary the unit and I made last year called Turkey: Breaking the Silence, which was officially released in January. We have been coordinating with the public relations office at VOA to set up broadcast or panel events to share it with a broader audience. This is an especially big deal for me because my supervisor surprised me by including my name in the credits of the Turkey film. As a young journalist, seeing my name listed there for the first time was incredibly fulfilling! That said, I cannot wait to begin writing a new documentary and see what more we can achieve!

  • socdeansintern 10:40 am on December 14, 2020 Permalink

    Learning to Localize for the Durango Herald 

    By Dean’s Intern Jack Purcell at The Durango Herald

    Jack Purcell

    Jack at the Durango headquarters in Colorado

    As a student in D.C., I’ve grown accustomed to thinking big; life in the nation’s capital has made it so that much of my experience reporting has been focused in one way or another on the national level. This changed when I joined The Durango Herald as an intern this semester. I was still in D.C., but my work was no longer being read by hyperpolitical Washington residents; I was writing for an outdoorsy town of around 20,000 people nestled deep in Southwestern Colorado.

    For the Herald, I learned to stop thinking like one of the countless reporters on the Hill and throughout D.C. that are looking to jump on national stories as soon as they happen. Instead, as a reporter for a local paper who happens to be in Washington, I approach every story with a question: why does this matter to Colorado and to Durango?

    With this question in mind, this internship has given me the opportunity to cover everything from the election to local energy grid changes, combining the unique position of being in D.C. with a local mindset that I’ve developed by speaking to and connecting with business owners and local officials from Durango and other parts of Colorado. Local reporting has some departures from what I’ve grown used to as an SOC student but I think that the work of local newspapers is incredibly important and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to count myself among them.

    Here is a link to the page of the Herald’s website where my writing is collected:

  • socdeansintern 9:09 am on November 16, 2020 Permalink

    Journalism’s Impact on Democracy 

    By Dean’s Intern McKenzie Beard at Voice of America

    McKenzie BeardOver the course of the fall semester, I have had the opportunity to work as a reporter for the Voice of America News Center. 2020 has shown that journalism is a critical part of maintaining democracy and a healthy, well informed society.

    Prior to joining Voice of America, I had participated in an internship with a community radio station in my hometown that I feel prepared me for this next step up in the world of journalism. Being an active member of student media as well gave me the tools to succeed in a fast paced and collaborative newsroom environment.

    While my internship has been remote due to the coronavirus pandemic, my supervisors at Voice of America have consistently made me feel like an important member of their newsroom. I have had the wonderful opportunity to write for both and internal news wire within the organization in addition to researching and writing stories for the Voice of America website. As I’ve grown as a reporter during my time with VoA, I’ve found that direct guidance from experienced reporters and editors has strengthened my skillset as a journalist tenfold. Moreover, because this internship has been hosted online, I’ve been able to learn how to navigate working both independently and with a team remotely.

    I’m thrilled that Voice of America continued to host their internship program remotely during the fall 2020 semester, and hope that this impeccable team continues to produce strong stories with the help of AU students for years to come.”

    In addition, here is a link to my portfolio where you can find some of the work I’ve done so far for VoA:

  • socdeansintern 3:54 pm on November 10, 2020 Permalink

    Honing News Instincts at Voice of America 

    By Dean’s Intern Hannah Shows at Voice of America

    Hannah Shows I applied for the Voice of America (VOA) internship without knowing I would be summarizing the top news stories from around the globe while sipping my favorite morning beverages and watching the sunrise through my home window every morning.

    Clocking in by 7:30 am, I scour incoming video feeds from various news outlets and summarize headlines to include in my final reporting package: a sixty second video newsreel recapping the top stories in different regions of the world (sometimes, the whole world). By 11 am I have the newsreel published on social media and shared with VOA’s partners. Then, I wash, rinse and repeat every Monday and Friday.

    Working for VOA, I’ve strengthened my news instinct and gained confidence in my ability to work quickly and accurately. The internship has taught me to pay attention to detail (those important, if pesky, broadcast permissions and news credits must be accounted for!) while keeping in mind the bigger picture.

    Within my first two weeks at VOA, I recapped the first presidential debate and subsequent town halls. I learned to summarize, with balance and clarity, these key campaign events — a skill useful to any hopeful politics reporter.

    To be best prepared for this internship, I keep a healthy schedule (getting a full eight hours of sleep) and implement an early morning routine. My internship with VOA structures my mornings as a springboard for a productive and fulfilling day. I am grateful for this opportunity during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Links to work:

  • socdeansintern 4:01 pm on October 28, 2020 Permalink

    The World of Digital Political Communication During a Virtual Election Season 

    By Dean’s Intern Lizzy Tarallo at EMILY’s List

    Lizzy TaralloEvery day is a new adventure during my internship with EMILY’s List. As someone who is so passionate about electing Democratic women up and down the ticket, I feel honored to be working with the nation’s largest resource for women in politics during this crucial election year.

    Our main goals for this election are to elect women who will flip the Senate, elect women to the House who will maintain the Democratic majority, and to have the first-ever woman vice president, Sen. Kamala Harris, elected to office. As a Digital Intern, my days at EMILY’s List are packed with drafting social media content for an audience of over 130,000 Instagram followers and 170,000 Twitter followers. I also draft and help send out text messages for our robust texting program, which helps us to fundraise and engage with our members. I am also part of the Results Team. This means I will be working all day on Election Day and the week after to help send texts to thousands of subscribers who want to hear results about the local, state, and federal elections they care about.

    Even though everything is virtual due to the coronavirus, I am still able to attend Q&A sessions and trainings with EMILY’s List staff members. I was able to ask a question to the president of EMILY’s List, Stephanie Schriock, and she gave me some great advice for my future. I have also learned a lot about political campaigns and how large political action committees operate.

    I have loved every moment of my internship so far. It’s so rewarding to spend time drafting content and know that so many people are going to see it. I’m definitely getting a lot of preparation for a career in digital political communications. I can’t wait to see all of our hard work pay off when women across the country win their races!

  • socdeansintern 8:36 pm on October 8, 2020 Permalink

    From My Home To Yours 

    By Dean’s Intern Katie Kolczun at Smithsonian Associates

    Katie KolczunThis semester I’m working as the Social Media Intern for the Smithsonian Associates. It has been such an incredible experience to engage with a large audience and to be a part of such a fantastic institution. It has also been interesting to work for the Smithsonian Associates during their switch to virtual programming. It’s been really incredible to see this shift, as not only do we get to engage with the D.C. community, but now the programming is easily accessible nationally and even globally which has created a much larger audience. I have always been a big advocate for education and the arts, so it’s fantastic to be helping bring a bit of creativity and learning straight into the homes of people who may have never had the opportunity to visit D.C.

    My day primarily consists of drafting posts for social media and posting event listings. I also do research about programs and upcoming guests, finding other complimenting works that might be appealing to audiences. I have some prior experience in public relations working with social media, but it’s always a fun challenge to adapt and gain an understanding of a company’s public voice.

    Although my internship has been remote, I still have been able to connect and reach out to other colleagues to learn about their experience and ask their advice. I have really been able to dive deeper in learning about public relations and marketing, but I have also gotten to learn about other fields of interest and make new connections which has been extremely helpful in furthering my professional development.

    To see what I help work on throughout the semester follow the Smithsonian Associates on Twitter (@SmithsonianSA), Facebook and Instagram  (@smithsonianassociates).

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