What It’s Like To Start Working In TV News

Living the dream, one logged press conference at a time.

1. Television news! This is the dream!

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2. You may only be an assistant, but you’re getting paid and well on your way to becoming a TV journalist!

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3. Your first day at the bureau, you’re so excited that you miss some very telling signs, like the fact that your badge is the same color as the intern badges…

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4. And that your tour of the building goes something like this:

Ellie Hall / BuzzFeed
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5. But who cares! You’re finally working in a REAL NEWSROOM.

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6. Soon after you start, you quickly forget that you ever had a normal schedule.

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7. Or ever dealt with a single phone line… or phone…

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8. At first dealing with angry callers was hard:

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9. But you soon become adept at transferring pissed-off viewers to the comment line:

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10. You form a deep personal relationship with each of the bureau’s copy/print/fax machines.

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11. And spend more time than you’d care to admit as a body double for cameramen.

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12. Of course, anything’s better than logging and verbating a six-hour congressional oversight hearing.

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13. Except Friday news dumps. Fuck those.

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14. Being woken up at ungodly hours in the morning by a telephone call from the desk becomes a normal part of your life.

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15. Except on your precious days off, when an incoming call from the desk earns this exact reaction:

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16. You’re continually shocked at the number of people who use Internet Explorer.

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17. So obviously you live for the moments when a producer or correspondent needs help understanding the internet.

President Obama’s Reddit AmA was your finest hour.

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18. You also may have internally freaked out a bit when all of the correspondents knew you by name.

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19. You’re unbelieveably excited on that glorious day when you get your first assignment from the desk.

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20. Until you get to the event and realize that you know absolutely nothing about working in the field.


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21. Or about framing a shot.

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22. Fortunately, the desk editors are diplomatic about your first packages and other attempts at coverage.

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23. You quickly learn the importance of caffeine in breaking news situations.

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24. And have a deep appreciation for free newsroom food.

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25. Outside of work, you pretty much exclusively hang out with friends who work in news and therefore understand the craziness of your life.

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26. They also understand your happiness over small victories, like successfully photobombing a liveshot with your favorite celebrity:

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27. Or getting into a closed press conference without RSVPing.

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28. Although you may get a bit cynical, you know you’ll never forget the moment you first felt like a valuable member of the news team.

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29. And, let’s face it, you never really get over escorting famous politicians and journalists to various studios.

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30. Or the magic of a press pass.

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31. And even though sometimes you feel like your workday never ends (and let’s be real: it doesn’t).

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32. You never get over the fact that you have an insanely cool job…

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33. And at the end of the day, you know you’re exactly where you want to be.

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Ellie Hall is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C.
Contact Ellie Hall at

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