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Moon Chasing | Endowment Intern Sean

July 26, 2019 - Posted in ETV Endowment Interns by Sean Scott
ETV let students interview astronaut Charles Duke

I may have only been at work for four days this week, but it was a full week that seemed to rush by! After my relaxing day at home while everyone else had to suffer through a Monday in the office (#sorrynotsorry), I finally saw my supervisor Aimee again. It seemed like it had been a month since we had both been in the office at the same time, but I think it was only a little more than a week. She gave me another video to edit: a story on astronaut Don Thomas, who visited the Charleston County libraries to meet kids and tell them about space. I enjoyed having another video to edit, but it was also challenging, since I had no set guidelines to follow. I had full discretion to make the video as I thought was best, but that is tough when I'm looking at the footage and the facts for the first time, rather than having been at the library to film. I like those situations because as I'm filming, I can start to construct the timeline of the video in my head and I can craft interview questions to help get the soundbites to flow the way I want. Admittedly, this story is not done yet, as I took my time on it early in the week before getting hit with other assignments that had priority. However, it should turn out well, once I settle on a couple of decisions, and will make for a good final project - it's hard to believe that next week is already the end of my internship.

On Thursday, Gavin gave me another research assignment - this time for a SC Lede Summer School episode on opioids (I know, what a cheerful thing to learn about while on summer vacation). I believe Gavin thought I still had an extra week in my internship, so the timeline got a little accelerated, but I did a great job with finding research quickly. I read about 65 pages of reports from state agencies to glean data from, skimmed a few news articles, and even read a state law and solicitor general's opinion, all in one day (because the most recent report was from January, the state did not know if one component of the new task force was violating HIPPA law and the opinion wasn't handed down until March). This, combined with the new, bombshell DEA data from the Washington Post and an episode of This Week in South Carolina from April (that mostly said what I had already found in the reports), led me to a pretty thorough research report and should be useful for the podcast.

The end of the week got me out of the office again, as Aimee invited me to watch an interview with local astronaut Charles Duke at the South Carolina State Museum. I hadn't been to the State Museum in probably 10 years, so it brought back memories of field trips and being a kid, as some of the exhibits hadn't changed at all. However, we were there for the brand new 50th anniversary Apollo 11 exhibit, where the interview was happening. I got there about 45 minutes before the first interview, so I walked around the exhibit and read a lot (note: I tend to read everything at a museum - it drives my family crazy because it takes forever). The first interview was between General Duke and some local students, that was broadcast on Facebook Live. I was really impressed with one of the kids (the guy on the far right in the photo at the top), who said he was a student reporter. He was very confident and poised in front of a live camera, things that I still need work on from time to time, and certainly couldn't not have done a few years ago when I was his age. The second interview was a special edition of Palmetto Scene, so the kids were swapped out for the host of Palmetto Scene (and Syracuse graduate) Beryl Dakers. I walked back and forth from the makeshift set to the "control room" (which was really just around the corner) to experience a little of both and observe the TriCaster being used, since we use a different setup at Syracuse. General Duke shared some really interesting stories and information in both interviews, so I would recommend checking them out when they are done (the Facebook interview is already archived at the link above and the Palmetto Scene episode will be coming shortly).

Aimee told me I could go home for the day after that (it was only 11:30!), but I still had to finish the opioid research and, of course, write this blog, so I returned to the office for a few hours. Also, I had to say goodbye to my officemate Sarah, whose last day was today. I had shared my office with her for 9 of my 10 weeks here, so next week will be strange, but at the same time, it will be nice to have the office to myself! I wished her luck with the rest of her college career, and with that, my penultimate week at SCETV came to a close.

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Since 1980, the ETV Endowment internship program has given college students the opportunity to explore careers in television and radio. Each summer, positions are available...