Broadcast Desk Assistant

BY Human Resources  July 22, 2015 at 11:11 AM EDT


Broadcast Desk Assistant duration: six-month term. Location: Arlington, Virginia.

The Desk Assistant (DA) position is an 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. Desk Assistants attend a series of breakfasts with various members of our organization — including correspondents, producers, and reporters — and have the opportunity to research, interview, and write for the NewsHour‘s Rundown blog.

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


FOREIGN AFFAIRS / NATIONAL AFFAIRS / POLITICS The three 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.
LOGGING The 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 shoots. Along with the Newsdesk DA, they also answer phones and provide support in the newsroom. During the evening, this DA assists with script production.
(This is done for one month and then switches with Newsdesk.)
NEWSDESK The Newsdesk DA is primarily responsible for providing general coverage in the newsroom, logging news feeds, answering phones, tracking tape stock, distributing information, fact-checking all script and tape information before air.
(This is done for one month and then switches with Logging.)
PRODUCTION The Production DA is responsible for maintaining our tape library, accompanying crew on local shoots, and providing additional assistance in the edit and tape rooms, among other duties. During the evening, this DA assists with script production and sits in the control room to assist the directors.
RESEARCH/COMMUNICATIONS The 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, and performing other duties for the Communications offices. During the evening, this DA assists with script production and sits in the studio to assist the anchors.

– 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 PBS NewsHour‘s journalistic style.
– Prior experience in a broadcast news setting is strongly preferred.

The Desk Assistant position pays $13 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) Desk Assistant Application (available as a PDF or as a Word document)
(2) Cover letter
(3) Resume

Gretchen Frazee
Desk Assistant Coordinator

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.