Behind the Scenes at a Political News Organization

8:27:00 PM

The election is right around the corner *CUE SCREAMS* and in light of that, I'm reflecting on the month I spent as an intern/runner with MSNBC. I had the incredible opportunity to work with them while they covered the primary elections here in South Carolina in February.

How I Got the Job:

I'm lucky enough to know a couple of freelancers that work with NBC and MSNBC and I had reached out to them as a contact back in the fall. Through that I was able to work with them at the Rachel Maddow show on location in SC and then they asked me back the following day for the democratic forum that Rachel hosted. I don't care what you think about Rachel's politics, I'm here to tell you she is phenomenal at her job. I had the opportunity to sit next to her at the end of the first night while everyone else was winding down and watched as she studied her notes for the following day and asked some incredibly profound questions. Plus, she remembered my name even though I was about as insignificant as can be, and I find that to be very telling of her character.
I worked hard and did my best to be as friendly as possible, meeting everyone that I could. I guess it didn't go unnoticed because I received a call months later (while I was laying in bed watching Netflix in the middle of the day) asking if I'd like to work with them again just two days later. Obviously, I jumped right on it.
With Rachel Maddow

The Job: 

Our mornings started at 4am and we worked long hours, but honestly the excitement of live television never wore off. I skipped more class than I'd like to admit, which is SO out of character for me, but I figured that nothing could be better experience for a broadcast journalism student than being right in the thick of a live national news production. Coincidentally I managed to make it to all of my swing dance classes that month. No judgement.
It was all incredibly interesting because I got to do so many different things. I did everything from sell out every Walgreens, CVS, and Bi-Lo in Columbia of their AA lithium batteries (stressful), do the lighting and mic checks on behalf of the anchors, do makeup touch ups while the anchors and guests were on camera, and check in and manage all of the guests. I also had the opportunity to assist a producer on creating and executing a panel interview of diverse, brilliant, and opinionated USC students for a segment.

4:22 am on set

The Anchors and Reporters:

I got to meet countless political figures, correspondents, and anchors. So many of them were fantastic, but I'd have to say my favorite hands down was Thomas Roberts. Never have I met someone so kind, humble, talented, and genuinely interested in helping me advance in my career. Meeting and working with him was a complete wakeup call. He is everything that I aspire to be as I move forward in my career, whatever it may be.
With Thomas Roberts

Tamron Hall couldn't possibly be more beautiful. She just couldn't. Her skin is basically the smoothest skin I've ever seen and her shoes were consistently fabulous. Basically, she was even more beautiful/perfect than you would even think.

With Tamron Hall

Hallie Jackson is such a hard worker. Everyone on the MSNBC team works hard for their position, but her dedication definitely stood out. Plus, she has a completely wonderful personality and even let us pretend to write a love letter to one of the interns on her behalf. Her response to her ever so awkward snot on live TV moment makes her even more lovable.
After receiving "Hallie"'s card

Steve Kornacki and Kasie Hunt are two of the so-called "road warriors" from this election season. I met them both back in the fall and also in the spring and have been so impressed by their tenacity. They spend almost every single day out of the month on the road, traveling along with politicians so that we can have every bit of news that we can back at home. They even manage to stay super nice and friendly even though I'm sure they're exhausted.

I think that people are quick to judge the media. You'd be amazed to see the level of production that MSNBC brought with them. There are so many people that do so many different things to make sure that MSNBC can put out the most well rounded and factual broadcast that they can.
I would love nothing more than to work for NBC some day in the future and that is entirely due to the quality of people that work there. Every member of the production has a true love and appreciation for their job. I don't think you can ask for anything more!

Some of the fantastic friends I made on set

On a final note, the election is this Tuesday, November 8! Get out there and vote. I've already submitted my absentee ballot :)

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