PBS Gwen IFill Fellow: Spring 2019
“I chose to apply for this opportunity specifically because I enjoy working with young people.
Media is even more influential than when I was growing up , and I think it’s important to
uplift the voices of people we don’t usually hear from like students, so I am happy that I get
to be a part of their mission to engage the youth with news.”
MPS Journalism: What company are you working with and what are you responsible for?
SS: I am a fellow with PBS in the Student Reporting Lab Department. I make instructional content that educates students on ways to think like a journalist and improve their technical skills. I also take the student news packages they send in and re edit them cleaning up any errors, adding lower thirds, and slates so that it can be posted to our website, sent to broadcast or social media.
MPS Journalism: Why were you interested in working with PBS and has the experience matched your expectations?
SS: I chose to apply for this opportunity because I enjoy working with young people. Media is even more influential than when I was growing up, and I think it’s important to uplift the voices of people we don’t usually hear from like students, so I am happy that I get to be apart of their mission to engage the youth with news.
MPS Journalism: What is your favorite part of the job?
SS: Watching the live taping of PBS Newshour was pretty cool, but my favorite part has been writing for Newshour Extra, and seeing the students I teach connect with those stories in real time .
MPS Journalism: Tell us about your favorite project you’ve worked on so far.
SS: My favorite thing that I have worked on so far has been the workshop that we did with Dominion High School. I was able to act as the subject and they positioned me and the camera into 10 different composition shots from wide to close up. I enjoyed just seeing them learn.
MPS Journalism: What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned about journalism as a fellow?
SS: I was surprised at how many levels of approval every post and story gets. Before we put anything on our site or social it goes through a four or five different channels of approval to make sure we maintain our accuracy and aesthetic standards as a company.
MPS Journalism: How has the fellowship shaped some of your career goals and aspirations in the field?
SS: This fellowship confirmed for me that reporting is something I can actually do, and I am good at. I get inspired by the content that I help to create, and by the kids who participate in SRL. When I see how eager they are to learn it reminds me of me. I also just get to have awesome conversations about where the media is going and how to stay on current trends like IG tv and so on which has been nice.
MPS Journalism: How did you secure your fellowship?
SS: I applied on indeed, and followed up with an email.
MPS Journalism: What advice do you have for JO students looking to land a gig?
SS: The only advice that I have is to keep applying. In my experience, I have found that DC has a lot of opportunity to offer, so don’t give up because of a few rejections. There are people who are looking for someone with your skills.
MPS Journalism: What’s been your favorite class so far in the program and why?
SS: Sourcing and Interviewing and Digital Essentials were my favorite classes so far. The sourcing class has given me concrete knowledge that I can always refer back to. I also enjoyed the Digital Essential class and getting to learn about the backend of social media.
MPS Journalism: Why did you choose the Georgetown MPS Journalism program?
SS: I wanted to come to Georgetown because I knew their reputation for excellence, and I wanted to be apart of that. I knew if I came here, that I would get the skills I needed to be one of the best.