By Ellie Smith, PCM '18
From the National Press Club to the Supreme Court plaza, my road to joining “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace“ as an intern is a journey only an SMPA student could experience.
In December 2017, Professor Mike Freedman invited me to attend a dinner before a taping of the Kalb Report at the National Press Club. At the time, I was the editor in chief of GW’s independent student newspaper, The GW Hatchet.
The event focused on the presidential debates, and guests included debate moderators Martha Raddatz and Chris Wallace and the Commission on Presidential Debates co-chairs. I thought I left the event with only memories of great conversations with journalists and political scientists, but the next day, Professor Freedman reached out to let me know Chris Wallace wanted me to apply for a summer internship at “Fox News Sunday.“
This summer, I started my internship at “Fox News Sunday,“ a show featuring interviews with newsmakers and panel discussions about the week’s top political issues moderated by Mr. Wallace that airs on Fox affiliate stations on Sunday mornings.
Working for a Sunday morning talk show means that I work weekends and need to be in by 5 a.m. on show days. Those early mornings have absolutely been worth it — I have welcomed senators and White House staffers to the Fox News D.C. bureau and work in the control room during the show. On the other days of my workweek, I do in-depth research on the guests and topics for that week’s show.
I had one particularly memorable experience this summer that my supervisors at "Fox News Sunday" helped make possible — taking part in the “Running of the Interns.”
Recording devices are banned inside the courtroom of the Supreme Court Building so each year, interns from all the news networks gather at the Supreme Court when major decisions are released to run paper copies of the decisions from the court pressroom to network anchors waiting outside. I was one of Fox’s running interns on decision day this year.
I waited in the hallway with four other interns for my network’s producer to receive a printed copy of a decision, which I walked down the hallway, out one of the building’s side doors and then ran across the plaza to hand off. In the heat of the moment, I didn’t even read which decision I was carrying, and it wasn’t until I was cleared to use my phone and I read the news that I learned it had been the Court’s decision to hear the Trump travel ban case.
As I continue to gain priceless experience in network news and political journalism generally, I often think about how my education and past opportunities are adding up, from my time as editor in chief of The GW Hatchet to attending a dinner hosted by Professor Freedman to running at the Supreme Court in a blazer and sneakers.