On my first day as a Nightly News intern, I was told that this would be like nothing I had ever experienced. I was already overwhelmed by the towering shape of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the glittering studios and the sight of many broadcast personalities, often viewed from my television set, and now sprung into real form. Whether it was behind the lens or in front, I learned that every role in the newsroom is an integral cog of the news mechanism that comes with responsibility, talent, and, most importantly, a drive to be at the top.
My fellow interns and I have come a long way from loading ink in the copier to a gained insight and special knowledge of almost every aspect of the newsroom.
I had the opportunity to experience different positions at Nightly, and one afternoon I got to sit next to director Brett Holey during a live broadcast. If you have never been in a live control room, let me tell you, it is a very unpredictable environment. Mr. Holey and the producers are so professional that they can make the show look simple, but from inside the darkened broadcast epicenter I saw what could only be described as controlled chaos. There were times when things didn't go as planned: Before one broadcast, we were faced with a bad satellite feed, and two packages from our Middle East correspondents were placed out of order. Mr. Holey fixed the problem expertly, and the viewing public was none the wiser. And so the show began and I, mesmerized, had much to learn.
Weekend director Patti Lang gave me another offer that I couldn't resist: Put on the mask of an anchor and attempt to do my first desk read in the Nightly studio. It was great to be the center of attention as the Nightly staff placed me in Brian Williams' chair and piled on the layers of makeup that cover any imperfections. The mortified look on my face in the television monitor said it all: I was a true novice. As the studio lights came on, I was not prepared for what I was about to do. But, off I went stumbling through the news that the prompter displayed. Still a few years until I catch up to NBC's finest.
Before I go, I have to mention Pentagon Correspondent Jim Miklaszewski. He was my role model throughout this internship, one of the few in this business who can understand the plight of a tragically long last name. I have him beat by one letter, but it gives me hope that my hefty last name won't end up on the chopping block completely. Everyone at Nightly was so helpful and always willing to offer a little bit of advice or professional expertise. I have no way to thank them all, but if you're reading this and met or helped me this summer, please know you made a tremendous impact on me and have inspired me to continue pursuing a journalism career.