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Chicago Storytelling by Dale Gaughan

by Dale Gaughan

School of Communication Major: Communication

Additional Major: History

Minors: Marketing and Management

Junior

My internship at WTTW Chicago Tonight, on the “Ask Geoffrey” segment was a wonderful learning experience that not only offered insight about the inner workings of a public broadcasting service, but also the inner neighborhoods of Chicago. I discovered the hidden gems in the non-touristy city communities.

I also learned the important, but not obvious, aspects of “Ask Geoffrey”. I learned the process of filming shots and putting together video clips and how to write a script. I learned how the Freedom of Information Act is utilized, and the process of securing public documents. I also learned when it’s illegal to use pictures found on the internet and when it is necessary to cite your findings. Interestingly enough, I was also taking a “Communications and Ethics” course. Learning the principles and ethics of the Communications industry directly tied into what I learned at my internship. It’s easy to become frustrated when our story lacked proper visuals but staying ethical (and legal) always took precedence. Even further, no matter what we believed, confirmation was key.

During one segment regarding a certain elevator in the Flat Iron Arts building, the producer of “Ask Geoffrey” believed it to be an Otis. We were very hesitant and frantically searched for a company or professional who could confirm. It wasn’t until hours before the show when we finally received confirmation, and the producer was able to put it in the segment.

Internships are all about experimentation and expanding your database of information and skillset. I was fortunate to have an amazing experience at a nationally known news station. I was surrounded by wonderfully intelligent and equally inspiring professionals who love what they do – and do it extremely well. “Ask Geoffrey” served not just as a resume builder, but also a way to confirm my career choice. I, without a doubt, want a career focused on storytelling, and bringing information to the public.

One wonderful takeaway was making my acting debut on one of the “Ask Geoffrey” segments. Find it here at 7:45!