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!

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

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…

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

Ellie Hall / BuzzFeed

5. But who cares! You’re finally working in a REAL NEWSROOM.

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

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


8. At first dealing with angry callers was hard:

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

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

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

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

13. Except Friday news dumps. Fuck those.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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


21. Or about framing a shot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

30. Or the magic of a press pass.

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

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

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, DC. Her secure PGP fingerprint is 6055 A264 DADD AADC 347E 5986 547C C11C DD7D 176A.
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