Growing responsibilities at CBS2

By Sarah Kazadi

Sarah KazadiWhen I received an acceptance letter from Kathleen Kelly telling me that I had been accepted into the Summer 2009 Internship program, I knew I was lucky to be chosen. In a media market as large as New York City’s, being involved in any way in CBS2’s goal of delivering information to the public was a privilege I felt I hadn’t done enough to receive. I started May 26, 2009. In retrospect, I can say that this day marked the beginning of a revamped drive and determination for me.

Being chosen as one of the four Sports Department interns made me want to stand out and be the one that they remembered. I quickly learned that this was a team effort, though, not a competition. With nine teams based in and around New York City, the Sports Department was busy, and teamwork wasn’t an option, it was a necessity. From anchors to writers to producers, it is essential to work together to produce the best final result. Working with the likes of Sam Ryan, Otis Livingston, Mike Jimenez, Joe McLaughlin and Chris Scaglione, to name just a few, I received a crash course on the ins and outs of what broadcast sports journalism is all about.

Most of my days consisted of logging tapes and writing scripts. It’s funny: This summer, I’ve watched more baseball games than in all of my previous years on this earth combined. Being a basketball fan, America’s favorite pastime never really did it for me. But the summer belongs to baseball, and the Yankees and Mets became my main focus on a daily basis. Logging tape requires focus and is actually very important when it is time to assemble a news report. Producers and writers depended on my time codes to select the best highlights for our two-minute-45-second broadcasts. Eventually, logging tape evolved to writing scripts for the games I logged. I would watch the game, then, somewhere around the sixth inning, I would start writing a script for the anchor. This was Joe McLaughlin’s idea, and it benefitted me tremendously. I have always considered myself a good writer, but writing for print and writing for broadcast are two different things. McLaughlin combed through my writing, and pretty soon, I was writing scripts that were ready for air. I improved as a writer, and seeing the anchors read the words I had written on the air built more confidence in my writing ability.

The most exciting part of the internship was definitely going out on the field, though these occasions were rare. There is nothing comparable to being in the clubhouse or locker room of a team that you’ve admired from afar. Accompanying producers on shoots, I spoke to the likes of David Wright and Derek Jeter, helping interview them for sound bites to be used on the 6 o’clock or 11 o’clock news. Being on the field at New York City’s brand-new ballparks, Citi Field and Yankee Stadium, was priceless. I’ve watched games from the press box, sitting among established journalists from the New York Times and Newsday. Seeing what you could become, you promise yourself to work hard until you are what you have envisioned.

I want to be a renowned broadcast journalist. I’ve had this dream for quite some time now, and CBS 2 allowed me to taste what my dream could feel like. I walked into the doors at 524 West 57th Street every day with the goal of growing a little more as an journalist. I believe that I did that, and today, I believe in my goal that much more. This internship is the springboard I needed, heading into my last year of college. Thank you, CBS 2.