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The news that keeps us Onward On!
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The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

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A day in the life of a Meet the Press fellow

Alissa Van Dress
Meet the Press 2023 fellow, Nora McKee, explains the invaluable experience she gains during her day-to-day routine.

How are we functioning in our young, chaotic, impressive and ever-changing democracy? What seems like a difficult or even existential question to tackle, 2023 “Meet the Press” fellow Nora McKee ‘23 winds down her day by researching this pressing query, all with an episode of “Survivor” playing in the background.

McKee, a John Carroll alumni who graduated last May, spends her days searching for answers and diving deep into the current political sphere. First starting her work in September as an intern at the longest-running political talk show in America, she has been fully immersed in the world of current affairs and American politics.

“While the truth is that I do this to put together the team’s ‘Morning Note,’ it has become one of my favorite parts of what I do,” McKee told The Carroll News. “I get to read intelligent perspectives from all sides of a divided America and share them with the people who play a key role in distributing information to the country.”

The next morning, McKee starts her day on Capitol Hill between 9 and 9:30 a.m. With an unconventional weekend spent in the newsroom, her work week starts on Wednesdays and ends with the show’s weekly broadcast on Sundays. With a cup of coffee and a filled water bottle at the ready, she sits at her desk and begins to scour through her emails for all the updates that both NBC and the world at large have to offer.

“It has been so eye opening to witness the process of breaking news,” McKee said. “From the minute someone hears it ‘off record’ to the moment that it is a published article or special report, being a part of this team has allowed me to follow stories from their birth to their publication.”

After a brief time to catch up, she is whisked away to her first meeting on the D.C. Bureau Call, a morning recap with all of the reporters from the Washington News Group who are all vying to catch up on the latest headline. McKee says that this call is key to get everyone “on the same page about where stories are headed and what they have most recently developed into.”

Following this, McKee attends a separate, smaller meeting with the “Meet the Press” editorial team which serves as another touchpoint for the production of the show, specifically focused on its coming Sunday broadcast and “Meet the Press NOW.” This can look like what McKee describes as “bookings, headlines, important questions to ask and the overall direction of the program.” Then, McKee receives her research assignment including gathering sound and video for the program.

“I work closely with producers to provide them with the important information needed to create an interview outline for each guest,” McKee elaborated.

After she receives her task for the day, her hours are consumed with finding the right information and resources to create and polish the broadcast with the occasional “few extra meetings” interrupting her time.

While this may seem like a standard nine-to-five life, this all changes at the end of the week. As McKee states “Sundays are an entirely different ballpark.”

Starting her Sunday around 4 a.m., McKee arrives at the studio “ready to fill in gaps for whoever needs it as we prepare for our show.” For her, this could look like printing scripts for the anchor producer, assembling panelist packets or updating informational outlines.

“News is happening everywhere, all of the time,” McKee told The Carroll News. “I have learned to be ready to switch gears at the drop of a hat.”

After some initial preparation, McKee then turns her attention to the temporary duty of guest greeting, one of McKee’s favorite responsibilities.

“I have met Senators and lawmakers that I have known about for what seems like a lifetime,” McKee stated. “I shook hands with a Vice President. This position has given me the opportunity to connect with some of America’s most notorious, acclaimed and major politicians. I feel lucky to have the ability to welcome these individuals and their teams into the NBC studio.”

After days of hard work, McKee gets to watch her efforts come to fruition on national television and on corresponding platforms. However, she does not get much time to rest, as the cycle starts again in just a mere 48 hours. Despite the hustle and bustle, McKee says that she recommends this work to anyone and everyone.

“Whether you are a political fanatic, a news buff or a production wizard, this position can be a world opening opportunity for anyone willing to try,” McKee concluded. “If you’re looking for a sign to apply to the ‘Meet the Press’ Fellowship program, this is it. Take the risk. It might just change your career for good.”

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About the Contributors
Laken Kincaid
Laken Kincaid, Editor-in-Chief
Laken Kincaid is the Editor-in-Chief for The Carroll News from Beckley, West Virginia. They are a senior at John Carroll University who is double majoring in political science and communications (digital media) and minoring in leadership development. Laken has written for The Carroll News since the start of their freshman year and has previously served as a staff reporter, campus section editor and managing editor of the paper. They have received 18 Best of SNO awards, a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence award for Region 4 and two honorable mentions from the College Media Association. They have also been recognized by universities like Georgetown for their investigative reports. Additionally, they also write political satire for The Hilltop Show and feature stories on global poverty for The Borgen Project. In addition to their involvement with The Carroll News, Laken is involved with the Kappa Delta sorority, the speech and debate team, the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, the Improv club and other organizations. They also serve as the news director for WJCU 88.7, John Carroll's own radio station, and as the president for John Carroll's Society of Professional Journalists chapter.  Laken also started their own national nonprofit organization known as Art with the Elderly which they have won the President's Volunteer Service Award and the Humanity Rising Award for. When not writing, Laken can be found doing graphic design for their internship with Union Home Mortgage or working as a resident assistant and peer learning facilitator on campus. Laken also enjoys skiing and watching true crime documentaries. In the future, Laken hopes to become a political journalist for a national news organization or to be a campaign commercial editor for politicians. To contact Laken, email them at [email protected].
Alissa Van Dress
Alissa Van Dress, Campus Editor
Alissa Van Dress is a junior English major from Amherst, Ohio. She has a concentration in professional writing with minors in business, creative writing and Spanish and Hispanic Studies. Previously, Alissa served as the copy editor at The Carroll News. In addition to her current role as campus editor, Alissa is a JCU football and basketball cheerleader, a writing consultant at the JCU Writing Center, works as a digital engagement ambassador for the JCU Carroll Fund, and serves on the visual arts committee for The Carroll Review. Also, she is honored to have co-founded the Theatre Club at John Carroll University. Other than writing, some of Alissa's favorite hobbies include musical theater, vocal performance, fashion, dance and cheerleading/acrobatics. After graduation, Alissa plans to write for children's entertainment.

To contact Alissa, email her at [email protected].

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