Halfway Home | Endowment Intern Sean

A woman watches former Congressman Beto O"Rourke speak at the South Carolina Democratic Party Convention on June 22, 2019

Another busy week here at SCETV as June gets ready to turn to July. My first couple of weeks may have been somewhat boring and basic, as I got situated in this internship, but the last two weeks have been nonstop excitement and fun. In last week's blog, I previewed the South Carolina Democratic weekend and how chaotic I expected it to get. Well, somehow it exceeded my expectations! First up was Rep. Jim Clyburn's Fish Fry on Friday (perhaps pun intended?). I was at EdVenture's Children's Mueseum from about 4 p.m. until almost midnight, collecting b-roll and interviews. It was certainly exciting to be surrounded by so many presidential candidates and so many national journalists who came to see the big events in the "First in the South" primary state. In the press filing room, I was sitting next to journalists from CNN, the Washington Post and more! I definitely learned how to deal with challenges on shoots, as well. Being on my own (or being an MMJ, as it is called in the business) could be a real pain at times, such as lugging around three heavy bags across the giant media parking lot, or being in the misereable South Carolina humidity for close to eight hours. Even though I was uncomfortable both physically and mentally at times, I learned perseverance and gained an even greater respect for those in this industry.

After a long day and a quick shower, I got to sleep a little bit before gearing up for the state convention the next day. I was thankful this event was inside, but it didn't make it any less chaotic. Between trying to find parking, finding the press check-in area and getting set up, there was some stress to start the day. Once I got settled in, things got interesting. I interviewed some delegates, but also interviewed Gloria Bromell Tinubu, a candidate for U.S. Senate. I wasn't trying to get that interview, but the campaign manager pulled me aside and asked if I wanted an interview, so I thought why not? It was crazy to see all the energy from all the supporters of candidates up close and personal. The middle of the day got a little boring as everyone grew tired of listening to more than 20 speakers in an event that started at 9 a.m. However, the energy picked back up at the end, when three of the bigger names spoke - former Congressman Beto O'Rourke, Sen. Cory Booker and former Vice President Joe Biden. Even though I stayed impartial as a journalist, being in the convention hall as O'Rourke spoke felt almost surreal with all the energy radiating around the room. I got chills because I felt like I was witnessing something historic and special, which is every journalist's dream. 

I lugged my equipment back to the car and took a well-deserved break the rest of the weekend; I think I'm still recovering a week later! It was all completely worth it in the end, as some of my Fish Fry footage made it onto the PBS Newshour (in the segment from 20:00 to 23:20) and I ended up in a photo on the New York Times!

Being within a few feet of major politicians like O'Rouke, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Seth Moulton, former Rep. Bakari Sellers and others continues to be exciting for the political nerd side of me, and it's still unbelievable that I'm getting these oportunities this summer at ETV. It's crazy to think that I'm already halfway through my 10-week internship because in some ways I still feel new, but I'm excited for what the final half of the summer holds.