As an intern with the D.C. bureau of NBC News Channel, Jewell attended former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s final briefing and stood among journalists and protestors at controversial U.S. Supreme Court rulings.
“It’s the center of news in our country,” said Jewell, 21, an EC Scholar from Clayton. “Initially, it was a bit daunting, because although I have worked in Raleigh and Charlotte, nothing compares to the hustle and bustle of D.C.”
Jewell, a rising senior in communication, interned last year at NBC News Channel headquarters in Charlotte, which produces news content for network affiliates across the country.
“There's always something going on and big news constantly evolves in D.C.,” Jewell said. “It forces me to be up-to-date on the latest news and to learn about the deeper issues underlying the problems in our country today. The more I learn, the more I want to share my knowledge.”
She has logged press conferences and interviews, and written summaries of interviews. She highlights important quotes or sound bites for reporters, and helps locate content for news packages. “I really enjoy doing this because I learn a lot from it,” Jewell said.
It’s rewarding to see a reporter use a fact or statement Jewell recommended, she said. “Sometimes I help with information gathering or fact-checking, and sometimes I get to actually interview people on my own,” Jewell said.
She conducted interviews with students at the National Spelling Bee, on U.S. House Speaker John Boehner's lawsuit against President Obama, and Supreme Court rulings on gun sales, cell phone privacy and the Hobby Lobby contraceptives case, among others.
“I also get to record my own standups, which I'll be able to use on my resume tape when I apply for reporting jobs,” Jewell said. “When I work on stories, I write my own story and have reporters critique it so that I'm constantly honing my reporter skills.”
In a case brought by the craft store chain Hobby Lobby, the court ruled that business owners with religious objections to contraceptives can’t be required to provide them in employee health insurance plans.
“There were so many reporters staked out on the sidewalk alongside crowds of protesters waiting to react,” Jewell said. “I assisted a reporter doing live shots for various stations before the decision, saw the crowd react when they got word, helped analyze the decision and interview people, and worked with reporters into the evening.
“It was such a cool experience,” she said, “not only as an aspiring journalist trying to find the news and present it so that the public can understand it, but as an American seeing democracy at work in the very heart of our country.”
Jewell said ECU has prepared her with broadcast writing, video editing, story production and basic news principals. “But most importantly, my classes have really enhanced my news judgment, which is essential in my internship,” she said.
The internship has boosted Jewell’s confidence, whether working with reporters, producers or alone, and challenged her to seek new opportunities. She thought she wanted to be a Today Show host, but now she’s thinking about becoming a national news reporter.
“I've learned that I'm capable of accomplishing much more than I thought I could,” Jewell said. “My professors have always encouraged me to shoot for the moon, and the more I work in the broadcast journalism world, the more I realize that the moon may not be as far away as I think.”
-- Crystal Baity