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English Major Navigates Journalism Outlet Frontline PBS


Leah Struzenski '20, Frontline PBS (Brighton, Mass.)



Internship title:

Audience development intern.

What I do, day to day:

This summer, I was the audience engagement intern at Frontline PBS. Frontline is a long-form investigative journalism documentary series produced by WGBH. Frontline is a journalism outlet, so the office is a live newsroom, which is very exciting and busy. Daily, I would attend a meeting with the journalist and other members of the audience engagement team to go over breaking news of the day and brainstorm new story ideas or connections to our archived content. I would input data from our social media posts into spreadsheets and respond to Frontline's viewer mail. I was lucky enough to get to experience the release of two new documentaries, so throughout my internship I was tasked with watching the films and recording the “wow moments” (interesting quotes and images) of the films. I used the quotes and images to create quote graphics. These graphics are then used for short-form journalism in social media posts. I also reached out to organizations and people who might be interested in our new content to see if they wanted to promote and retweet our content during our live-Twitter conversations on the night of a premiere broadcast.

Other internships:

This is my first internship, but through various positions on campus and previous jobs, I felt well prepared. I have loved learning about public media; it is such an essential and valuable learning tool for our society and in the future, I would consider working for a public media outlet again.

Most valuable part of this experience:

Working for Frontline was very interdisciplinary; I worked with social media data, I did outreach to organizations, and I used analytical skills to write and help curate content for social media. Switching constantly between these spheres showed me the intricacy of doing audience development for a journalism outlet and helped me to be flexible.

Advice for students considering internships:

For my peers considering an internship, my advice would be to be confident in your abilities and your own knowledge. As an English major, I worried that my studies were not career-focused enough, but I found the opposite to be true. My English major allowed me to analyze, write concisely, edit, and think critically.

How this internship has helped me:

My internship has given me a good foundation to explore other possible careers related to audience development and journalism. My position at Frontline has given me the tools to go in a lot of different directions; I’m so grateful to have had this opportunity.

Post-Dickinson plans:

After I graduate, I hope to continue doing marketing-related work for a news outlet or a non-profit.

Learn more about internships at Dickinson.


Published August 8, 2018