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Monday

Today was our first day of bookings, and we started bright and early. We first ventured to The New York Times, and I was unbelievably ready to see the building. The interior was warm and bright, and the overwhelming sunshine would make me a quite satisfied employee (maybe one day). We were seated in a comfortable room with a wonderful view of the Hudson River, and we prepared to meet our first guests.

We first met Jenna Pirog, a photo editor for the Times, who recently worked on a virtual reality project. Pirog explained that the paper had recently partnered with Google to distribute cardboard “viewers” to subscribers to try with their smart phones, so her team needed to create content to accompany this new product. They decided to focus on the global refugee crisis, and they carefully picked certain children in accessible locations. She said it was essential to meet with subjects and get to know them for awhile, because it makes everyone more comfortable for the camera. Plenty of forced or insincere footage was disposed of everyday in order to get a few moments of "cinematic gold" that could be used for the final product. Even though post production requires tedious attention and time, Pirog said that she really enjoys working within editing and virtual reality, and that she will be continuing down this path for a long time. I really admired her passion and excitement for her endeavors.

Shortly after Jenna Pirog departed, we met Gail Collins, an opinions columnist. She seemed like a seasoned journalist, even though she gave up hard news reporting years ago. She survived a long part of her career reporting about state and local government (which sounds like my personal hell), but this helped her perfect her writing skills. She encouraged us to continuously write and create our own voices, because our writing style represents our personal brand.

Posing in front of the main lobby desk at The New York Times, and pretending that I totally work there.

We then traveled to NBC, where we had a wonderful tour of several sets and studios, including Saturday Night Live! Jordan Santo, a page for NBC, showed us around the building, and he was a very charming man. He spoke very highly of the page program he was in, a very competitive internship that allows plenty of access to every part of NBC. We then spoke to booking producer Daniela Pierre-Bravo, a stylish Miami alum who has climbed her way through the NBC hierarchy, and she also spoke about the company’s influential page program. We did not get to speak with her for long, but she did encourage us to continuosuly write, create our own voices, and add to our resumes whenever we can (this has been the theme to most visits). This industry is only for people who truly love news: one cannot dabble in it, you have to be completely immersed in it.

Shortly after, we traveled to Yahoo Food, and my stomach grumbled while we talked about the emergence and growth of food journalism. We spoke to managing editor Cassie Carothers and associate editor Gillie Hueston, and they both talked about the competitive atmosphere that consumes Yahoo. To be honest, it did not sound like the best environment to be in, but I suppose it keeps employees driven to produce better content. I found it strange that there was no test kitchen, because that makes it extrememly dificult to be original and innovative. Cassie admitted that they do not test alot of their own recipes, which I thought was strangely odd, and definitely something that I would not want my readers to know.

Daniela Pierre-Bravo speaking about the different news studios at NBC.

The last stop of the night: The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. I have only watched it a few times on television, but it was a whole new experience live! I loved being a part of the audience, and we even got to take a group photo.

A slice of thin crust pizza later and I am ready to call it a day. It’s been a great start and I am ready to begin again tomorrow.

Me and fellow student, Kelly O'Bryan, on set before the taping of The Nightly Show.


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