Editor's note: Today and everyday through the rest of the week, we'll be posting guest blogs from the news interns who joined us this past summer. We wish them luck on their first week back at school.
by Alex Bregman, NBC Nightly News Summer 2007 Intern, University of Pennsylvania
As I meandered through the construction of NBC News's soon-to-be new digs at 30 Rock and finally made it to Nightly News's temporary office, the first person I met was M.L. Flynn, the senior foreign producer for the broadcast. She heard me walk into the office, looked up from her computer and said, "You look like a new summer intern." I guess I immediately showed my cards. She kindly told me to grab a newspaper and take a seat. Then the phone rang. It was none other than NBC's chief foreign affairs correspondent, Andrea Mitchell, calling from Mexico on her way back from a trip to Cuba. This whole episode was pretty ironic for me considering that last summer it was the opposite. Back then I was in Andrea's office during my internship at NBC's Washington bureau, listening to M.L.'s voice on the phone. I suppose it was listening to those voices in New York that lured me from Washington to 30 Rock—from the center of the political world to the center of the network.
In Washington I learned how a reporter covers a beat. In New York I have learned how all those beats come together to make a broadcast, and it is not as easy as Brian Williams may make it look. At the end of our daily morning editorial meeting the executive producer, Alex Wallace, goes through the stories, saying, "If we had to do the broadcast at 9:30," and writes a preliminary list. Never would that list be the same at 2:30 p.m. at our afternoon editorial meeting and, come time for the actual broadcast, that morning list would sometimes seem like last week's news. The amount of debate that went into the final list of stories, called the "rundown," which was never really final until 6:30 p.m., was one of the most interesting parts of the job this summer.
The most surprising part was probably how eager everyone was to help me out, from Brian down to the desk assistants. Part of my job included running errands or answering phones in the newsroom, but I quickly realized how even the most basic tasks contributed to getting the broadcast on the air every night. This summer I've done everything from getting coffee at 4 a.m. for Brian's exclusive early morning interview with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to interviewing a cat therapist in the West Village here in New York City for a Lee Cowan report about an ominous cat named Oscar, which has this uncanny ability to predict death at a nursing home in Providence, Rhode Island. (Cowan wouldn't go anywhere near the cat.)
From helping producers get their reports done on deadline, to running scripts and wires to Brian in the studio during the broadcast, to helping senior investigative producer Bob Windrem track everything from trouble in the NBA to Al Qaeda, it was one incredible summer, and as much as I do not want my college days to end, the world of television news does not seem like a bad world to work in after those days are over.