Mugavero Interns at FOX 4 News, Dallas
By Amelia Mugavero, Senior in Journalism
I have learned so much in my short time here with KDFW FOX 4 News in Dallas. I started out writing VO's and VO/SOTS and shooting my own stand-up's when I went out with reporters. By my second week, I already had two packages of my own completed. I had been interning for a month when the Dallas shootings happened on July 7. It was just a normal day at the station. I had gone out with a reporter that afternoon to do a story about a nearby tent city for homeless people that was being shut down. I was home when I turned on the FOX newscast at around 9 p.m. and saw the tragedy that was unfolding. The very reporter I had been working with, Alex Boyer, was the one breaking the live coverage in the heart of downtown. All I can remember thinking was, "I was just there..."
The shooting occurred just a block from the station, allowing FOX to be able to cover the entire series of events. It lasted for several hours, with more than 12 police shot and 5 pronounced dead. It was later declared an ambush of white police officers and the shooter was later identified as well.
The day after the shooting was something I will never forget. I arrived at the station at around 9 a.m. The newsroom was busier than usual but there was an air of solemnness. I was put to work immediately to answer calls and help collect facts. I knew that from then on, my experience as an intern would change. I went out with a reporter later that afternoon to prayer service with city and religious leaders. Around 300 Dallas citizens attended to pray and hold hands together. It was a beautiful sight to witness and report. The next couple of days contained events like these, as well as other services, candlelight vigils and funerals. I was also on scene for breaking news at the Dallas Police Department. I was covering this news alongside CNN and FOX News correspondents. I was also tweeting out updates every minute that FOX 4 would retweet to their thousands of twitter followers. Never in a million years would I think the biggest news in the country would be in my backyard.
I would then continue to go out with reporters to interview other police officers, families of the victims and updates on the shooting. I did research and contacted a group of officers I had met years ago for an interview. Little did I know the unit we spoke to lost three of the five men killed, and would also be one of the best interviews of the shootings televised by the station. I was later thanked by the reporter, news team and news director, Robin Whitmeyer. I even got to cover the visit from President Obama the Tuesday following the shooting. I was learning firsthand how a professional news station handles news in times of crisis and sadness. I admired FOX for being calm and accurately reporting the facts as they unfolded.
It has been an unexpected experience, and I am not finished with my time here. I have about a month left and the news of the shooting is falling into the background as leading news. This just goes to show that news never sleeps and ages quickly. Through all of this, I have found a new passion for this line of work and I know that the profession of reporting will always be needed. I have enjoyed working with the best and brightest in the business and I am excited for what the future holds.