By Matthew Rist
Covering everything from murder trials to Mitt Romney to kids dancing on the Mall, there’s never a dull moment at NBC4 in Washington, DC. I’m happy to share my experience at News 4, which undoubtedly has been the best internship I’ve had in my four years at GW.
Now let’s get one thing straight—I’m what you would call a “veteran intern.” I got the quintessential Capitol Hill internship under my belt freshman year, writing press releases, performing research, answering phones, and giving the occasional tour. It taught me a lot about my strengths and weaknesses and how to interact with people. Then I moved on to NBC’s Meet the Press. There, I rubbed elbows with movers and shakers, and I learned how to digest dozens of daily news sources into useful information. It was great to learn how television news operates and see the most talented journalists hard at work.
But this internship is different. On my first day in the newsroom, I sat in on the morning editorial meeting and pitched my own stories. In my first week, I accompanied a reporter to a murder sentencing in Maryland, where I saw my first live shot in action and filmed my first "standup" at NBC. Let’s just say my standup skills have grown exponentially since then and that first attempt is tucked away on an “intern blooper reel.” Each time interns go out with reporters on a story, we come back to the newsroom and cut our own version of the package for our demo reels—which is "television speak" for the tape of all your work.
In addition to going out with reporters, interns at News 4 get the chance to work on their own stories for the web. My fellow interns and I have pitched, filmed, and edited a number of stories that have since appeared online at www.nbcwashington.com. We got up close and personal with a record-setting $20 food truck sandwich, discovered a new exhibit on the Titanic, and, in my favorite video, played PacMan. These are just a few examples of work I created as part of my News 4 internship.
I am so thankful for all of the wisdom and advice that mentors at the station have given me this past semester. I have grown as a journalist, and I look forward to starting my career at a local television station following graduation.
Watch Matthew Rist report on the new "American Stories" exhibition at the National Museum of American History: