Broadcast Desk Assistant

BY Human Resources  June 2, 2014 at 2:01 PM EDT

NOTE: SPOTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR DESK ASSISTANTS TO BEGIN DURING FALL 2014.

Broadcast Desk Assistant duration: six-month term (January 12th, 2015 – July 17th, 2015). Location: Arlington, Virginia.

The Desk Assistant (DA) position is part of a six-month entry-level program designed for recent graduates and aimed at providing practical experience in a broadcast news setting. The DAs are exposed to all aspects involved in producing a nightly television news program. Desk Assistant duties are rotational among the different units that compose the NewsHour.

Over the course of the program, each of the Desk Assistants hired will work in three different units for a period of two months each. They also act as support staff for Senior Producers, Associate Producers, Reporter-Producers and Production Assistants by answering phones, sorting mail, distributing papers and other administrative tasks. Finally, Desk Assistants will attend a series of breakfasts with various members of our organization including correspondents, producers, and reporters.

Each DA will work in three of the following rotations for a period of two months each.

DESK ASSISTANT ROTATIONS                    DUTIES

FOREIGN AFFAIRS / NATIONAL AFFAIRS / POLITICSThe Beat DAs perform a variety of duties, including providing basic research, finding and pre-interviewing guests, logging feeds, and aiding reporters, producers and correspondents with whatever they need.  In the evening, the National Affairs and Politics DAs work on script production and in the control room during the taping of the show.
(The script production and control room duties switch after one month.)
LOGGINGThe Logging DA logs and manages incoming feeds from the Associated Press Television Network (APTN). They also log press conferences and hearings as needed, create posts for the NewsHour’s Rundown blog, and join reporter-producers on video shoots. Along with the Newsdesk DA, they also answer phones and provide support in the newsroom.
(This is done for one month and then switches with Newsdesk.)
NEWSDESKThe Newsdesk DA is primarily responsible for providing general coverage in the newsroom, logging news feeds, answering phones, tracking tape stock, distributing information, photocopying and fact-checking all script and tape information before air.
(This is done for one month and then switches with Logging.)
PRODUCTIONThe Production DA is responsible for maintaining our tape library, accompanying crew on local shoots; and providing additional assistance in the edit and tape rooms. During the evening, this person assists with script production and sits in the studio to assist the anchors.
RESEARCH/COMMUNICATIONSThe Research/Communications DA plays two roles: assisting the research librarians with long-term projects by compiling dossiers for anchors, producers and reporters. and writing press releases, compiling press lists, editing DVDs for awards submissions, and performing other duties for the Communications offices.

- Bachelor’s degree.
- Good writing and research skills.
- Demonstrated interest in journalism and/or television production.
- Pleasant phone manner and good administrative skills.
- Strong work ethic and effective time management.
- Knowledge of the PBS NewsHour’s journalistic style.
- Prior experience in a broadcast news setting is strongly preferred.

The deadline for applications is October 31. To be considered, please email ztreu(at)newshour.org.

The Desk Assistant position pays $9 an hour with overtime eligibility. As it is a temporary position, we are unable to provide health benefits.

To apply, please send the following to the Desk Assistant Coordinator via email (preferred) or ground mail.

(1) Application (available as a PDF or as a Word document)

(2) Cover letter

(3) Resume

Zachary Treu
Desk Assistant Coordinator
ztreu(at)newshour.org

PBS NewsHour
3620 27th Street South
Arlington, VA 22206

Candidates must have valid authorization per DHS form I-9 regulations to work for any employer within the United States. Visa sponsorship is not available.