Fareed Zakaria GPS is CNN’s award-winning foreign affairs program. Host Fareed Zakaria offers his take on international events and global economic trends, moderates panels of global thinkers, and interviews the world’s top policymakers. Interns assist in all aspects of production, from a story’s inception to research and fact-checking to gathering visual elements.
Here is the outline of a typical week:
Monday/Tuesday: Pitch story ideas, collate and summarize viewer responses from the previous week’s show, attend weekly show meetings, help with research and element-gathering for GPS special productions.
Wednesday: Continue to pitch ideas, research, and begin to gather video elements for edit.
Thursday/Friday: Fact-check scripts, help producers by gathering images and web material for post-production, prompt in the control room and watch Dr. Zakaria’s interviews in full.
Interns may also fact-check.
▪ Excellent written and verbal communication skills
▪ Knowledgeable about international affairs and the global economy
▪ Self-motivated and able to function in a fast-paced environment
▪ A great attitude with a passion for television news
▪ Video production skills a plus
▪ Foreign language skills preferred
▪ Availability on Thursdays between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. is mandatory
2016 Intern Reflection:
I have watched Fareed Zakaria on CNN for as long as I can remember. His analytical approach to covering international relations is a breath of fresh air in the world of the 24 hour news cycle, and it was this specific style of journalism that drew me to apply. Needless to say I had very high hopes for this internship, and it has not disappointed. At GPS, I have already had the opportunity to work on interviews with the Secretary of the Treasury, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the President of Mexico. In the broader CNN community, I have met an amazing network of other college students and have proposed ideas for the future direction of the network to the Global President of CNN.
On Mondays and Tuesdays, I am encouraged to pitch stories to the entire GPS team. The producers are extremely encouraging and love hearing my ideas. I spend Wednesdays collecting images and footage for the different show segments. Thursdays are always hectic, as we juggle studio times, escorting high profile guests in and out of the Time Warner Center, and pulling any last minute facts or photos to make the story that much more compelling. I did not have much multimedia editing experience prior to this job, but introductory courses during the first week of the internship helped me hit the ground running. So, on Fridays I spend the day working with the editors and producers to pull all the different sound bites and interviews into a finished product!
The other staff members are a wealth of knowledge, and they actively encourage me to pursue any stories that might interest me. The work is stimulating and I feel that I am really contributing to the team. For anyone interested in International Relations or broader geopolitical trends, I believe GPS with Fareed Zakaria is the best place to cultivate those passions.
Sydney Steel '19
2015 Intern Reflection:
I had watched Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN since I was in high school, so it was a dream come true to be able to work for the show. GPS is distinct from most other news programs in that it takes a highly analytical and almost academic approach to covering international affairs. That form of journalism allowed for me to contribute to a thoughtful and original way of telling stories about the world, which was quite refreshing during an age of 24-hour news cycles.
On Mondays and Tuesdays, all members of the staff, including interns, are able to propose ideas for show segments, and Fareed and the producers look at every pitch. If my idea was picked up, I would immediately become part of the research and fact-checking process for that segment and continue to shape its development. It has been a tremendous opportunity to offer my own knowledge and critical thinking to the show. Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays were when I helped to gather photographs and videos needed for the broadcasting of each story, as well as transcribing interviews, helping in the control room, and sorting through viewer feedback. During the internship I also had the chance to work on a group project in which interns were able to propose ideas to CNN executives to improve the network, whether it was a pitch for a new show or a new way to make use of social media.
Working at GPS has been a rewarding and intellectually stimulating experience, as I have been able to think about the world in new ways and better understand how journalists report on the decision-makers and trends that shape the news. There is no better place than GPS to learn about and assess the international environment we live in today.
Arjun Kapur '16
2014 Director's Intern Reflection:
At GPS I’ve had the opportunity to interview experts on Latin American policy, write my own news analyses, propose suggestions to the CEO of CNN Worldwide. We interact with world leaders, academics, and journalists who come to the show, but the staff never loses sight of the value of informed storytelling over star appeal.
The crew is thoughtful and careful, I would say unusually so for television. Many also work on book projects or TV documentaries and invited me to pitch in. They hold themselves--and the interns--to the highest standard of accuracy and style. "Checking is worth the extra minute,” and it’s also worth watching a show I helped create go to hundreds of thousands of viewers without cringing at mistakes.
Even the small tasks that make the show run teach me something every day, but the staff values its interns’ intellectual input. Fareed and the producers read every suggestion for show segments, and if they like an idea, they’ll pull the intern responsible for it into process and have them research more. All three of us interns have had an idea turn into a segment or at least a question of the week.
Kevin O'Donnell '16