By Kevin Frey, Journalism and Mass Communication Major '15
During the summer of 2014, I had the incredible chance to intern in the D.C. Bureau for Cox Media Group. Now the first thing you may ask is, “What’s Cox?” Good question.
Cox Media Group owns several local TV stations, radio stations, and newspapers in various cities across the country, including Atlanta, Orlando, Seattle, Dayton and Tulsa. In the D.C. Bureau, we covered Congressmen from these various markets.
When I first interviewed for the internship spot, the senior producer told me that the Cox interns were treated more like producers. Cox is a small shop, with only a few reporters and cameramen, and they need all hands on deck.
My experience lived up to that promise.
On day two of my internship, they gave me a camera, microphone, and tripod and sent me out solo to cover a press conference at the Capitol. I interviewed the congressman, who was introducing a bill aimed at helping former servicemen and women suffering from mental illness.
That was just the beginning. Throughout the summer, I interviewed several members of Congress, people from the non-profit world, disgruntled coal miners protesting new EPA regulations, and wide-eyed young participants at the National Spelling Bee. I covered a press conference at the Department of Justice about new computer malware and asked a question at a State Department briefing.
I learned what it means to work as a backpack journalist. Several times each week, I was charged with covering my own story. I set-up and conducted interviews. I wrote VO-SOTs, VOs, and radio spots – short stories that appeared on the local stations. I worked the camera, collected b-roll, and edited the video.
Arguably my favorite experience of the summer was the day of the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision. Set-up outside the Supreme Court amongst the opposing protest groups and members of the media, I helped the Cox reporter prepare for her live shots. I picked up the written decision from inside the court and helped the reporter interpret Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion. It was a historic day and being there was truly remarkable.
The summer was a busy one, but extremely rewarding. I not only had the chance to further develop my reporting and writing skills, but I learned an awful lot about how the US government works – things which you simply cannot read in book.
It was an exceedingly hands-on internship and one that I would highly recommend to those who want to avoid the cliché intern coffee run. They gave me many responsibilities and they were very willing to help me build my own reel and resume tape. Thank you to the folks at Cox Media Group for an incredible summer.