Gianna Barberia is an undergraduate student at Northeastern University studying Journalism. She is spending her summer working as a News Partnership Intern at NBC in New York City, and is preparing to start a co-op working at CBS this coming fall. While she loves long-form video journalism and documentaries, she is now discovering her passion for live television as well. We had the opportunity to learn more about all the exciting work she does at NBC!
Tell us a bit about what you do at NBC!
I work in the News Partnerships division at NBC News in New York, which is sort of a liaison between the national NBC News shows and the local affiliates. We make graphics and video clips for national stories and offer them to the affiliates to enhance their newscast, while also promoting the Today Show or Nightly News with Lester Holt. I’m responsible for tracking how many affiliates use the TV and social offerings that we send to them. I also help facilitate Lester Holt’s daily cross-talks and teases with affiliates – these are live or filmed talks with Lester Holt that promote ahead to Nightly News later that night.
So far, what has been your favorite part of this summer internship?
My favorite part of this job is that I get to work with every show at NBC News – Nightly News, Today Show, Dateline, Meet the Press, etc. – while also getting a taste of local TV news. Additionally, although my main job is data-driven, I have also been given opportunities to edit video, watch live tapings of Nightly News and Today Show, sit in on meetings with Lester Holt and other NBC News correspondents, and work by myself in the control room. I even got to touch a moon rock sample from the Apollo 11 mission that was featured on the Today Show.
What kind of news pieces do you most enjoy working on?
I really love long-form video journalism and documentaries, but this job has made me also fall in love with live TV. I used to do theatre in high school, and working in live TV feels very similar – high stakes, last-minute changes and lots of preparation and practice.
What originally drew you to the field of journalism?
I originally was interested in going into a career in film-making. In high school, my video production teacher recruited me to join the digital end of our student newspaper and help with producing weekly newscasts. From there, I became video editor and ultimately editor-in-chief and fell in love with telling human stories and interacting with and learning from others. I also saw how much of an impact journalism has at even the high school level, let alone nationally or internationally. I knew that I wanted to go into a career in which I could make a difference.
What have you learned during your co-op experiences so far that you’ve found important?
From a technical standpoint, I have learned and refined so many different skills – I learned how to use Avid, I improved my Excel and email marketing skills and learned overall what goes into producing a daily newscast. However, at NBC News, I also learned about journalism integrity and what makes a good story. Additionally, at The Boston Globe, where I co-oped previously, I learned how to take a story and find new ways to enhance it through social media. Many of the social media skills and tools I learned at the Globe, I also use at NBC News. I know that I will take everything I’ve learned throughout both of my co-op experiences and use them for the rest of my career.
What are some things you learned in your classes at Northeastern that have been applicable to your co-op?
One class that I found particularly helpful and inspiring was Digital Storytelling and Social Media with Professor Aleszu Bajak. In that class, we took the writing skills that we had refined throughout our earlier journalism classes at Northeastern and found new and unique ways to tell those stories, whether it be through newsletters, social media, data, etc. This class inspired me to apply for the Audience Engagement co-op at The Boston Globe. The audience engagement/social media team at the Globe is dedicated to using social media in unique and engaging ways that not only promote but propel the story, and I learned so much about the importance and value of social media for journalism. The team even won an Edward R. Murrow Award recently and was recognized for some social campaigns that I was proud to be a part of.
What part of the CBS co-op are you most looking forward to?
At CBS, I’m excited to learn even more, pick up new skills and interests, and make new connections.