I am interning in the investigative department of NBC News in the Washington Bureau. I will be observing and assisting a group of three producers and two on-air correspondents who create content for NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, MSNBC, and the Today show. I first became interested in investigative journalism through my job at Brandeis as a researcher on the Justice Brandeis Innocence Project at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. I discovered I have a real passion for digging and exposing injustices, and wanted to immerse myself in the field. This is why I chose to “study abroad” in Washington, D.C. last semester on the Washington Semester Program, an intensive journalism seminar program through American University. It provided the perfect opportunity to become fully engaged in all forms of journalism, and allowed me to hear about the possibilities of a career in journalism from many prominent reporters.
I decided to stay in Washington for the summer and continue to explore my interest in investigative journalism. I applied to the internship program at the NBC News Washington Bureau by sending a cover letter and resume directly to one of NBC’s investigative correspondents, who forwarded my information to an investigative producer. I interviewed, completed a written test, and was lucky enough to secure an internship.
My first week has mainly consisted of orientation, tours, and meeting the people who I will be working with this summer. It took a while for me to familiarize myself with the computer system, especially one of the programs NBC uses called I-News. I-News is basically an information sharing network which has everything from incoming feeds on breaking news, to scripts for upcoming segments of Nightly News, to lists of what will be covered by the Washington Bureau each day. As an intern, I have the opportunity observe a lot of the news covered by the Washington Bureau, including congressional hearings, tapings, and press conferences. All of these opportunities can be found by searching through I-News, which is why I wanted to understand the program right away.
My main responsibilities as an intern include observing the investigative team and researching. In just my first week, I’ve researched a possible lead for an investigative piece and observed the editing of a breaking news spot for Nightly News on the John Edwards trial verdict. The verdict came close to air time, so there was not much time for the spot to be put together. It was exciting to watch the editing process and observe the decisions which a producer must make under a tight deadline. I am looking forward to more opportunities throughout the summer to learn from experienced producers and correspondents about investigative journalism, and to be part of the excitement of NBC’s Washington Bureau.
– Abigail Kagan ’13