By Lauren Hoenemeyer
While studying journalism abroad in London last semester, I racked up a hefty phone bill interviewing for internships thousands of miles away. However, it was soon more than worth it when I found out I would be spending my summer with ABC News’ "Nightline" in New York City.
Every day at "Nightline" provided an exciting and different glance into the world of broadcast journalism. During my internship, I had once-in-a-lifetime opportunities occur more than once a day, providing an invaluable experience that I will never forget. I was ecstatic to be working for a news organization that is home to some of the greatest women broadcast journalists like Christiane Amanpour, Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer and most recently, Katie Couric.
During my internship, I had a backstage pass and front row seat to history when it came to news like the trial of Casey Anthony, the final space shuttle launch, and the debt ceiling crisis. I learned how newsrooms effectively adapt to breaking news in a fast-paced setting. I helped cover the red carpet premiere of the final Harry Potter film and wrote an article for ABCNews.com about the latest Planet of the Apes movie. I volunteered for "Good Morning America’s" summer concert series and went on numerous shoots working with ABC correspondent Dan Harris. I also had my SMPA skills put to the test by shooting footage for ABC too!
One of my favorite responsibilities was volunteering for rehearsals on the "World News" set. I stood in as Diane Sawyer, read through the teleprompter, and conducted mock interviews with fellow interns while the crew practiced with the latest camera technology. It was a fun game of journalism “house” with real equipment.
The "Nightline" staff gave the interns an incredible experience of working with them on their projects, including the hour-long "Nightline Prime" specials that aired through the end of the summer. Working closely with talented producers, we interns were welcomed as a part of the team.
My passion for broadcast journalism was fueled even further by this summer and I cannot wait to apply everything I’ve learned to my final year at SMPA and beyond. I would like to give a special thanks to Frank Sesno and Roger Hommel, professors of the Planet Forward class I took in SMPA last fall. By filming, editing, and producing mini-documentaries in this class (check out my mini-doc out here), I gained the tools, insight, and inspiration to maximize my experience at a major news organization. This class is a must!