ABC News' Political Unit follows political trends and issues, reporting for ABC News broadcasts and platforms, and supporting political correspondents in the field. The unit also produces a daily report called "The Note," which highlights and analyzes the political themes of the day.
In summer 2020, the unit will be focused primarily on the presidential and congressional elections. The intern will work closely with others at ABC in tracking races, polling, advertising spending, and trends in the presidential as well as major congressional and gubernatorial races. We will have an emphasis on original reporting and analysis, as well as new ways to explore digital campaign tactics and strategies.
Our program offers students:
- Experience at a diversified global Fortune 100 company
- Exposure to network-level news research, editorial and operational coverage, and broadcast and digital production on a daily basis
- Competitive pay and a rewarding experience
This internship program is open to undergraduate students who are currently enrolled in school and have completed their sophomore year. Interns MUST meet the following criteria:
- Currently earning a college/university degree in Related Field
- Excellent Communication Skills
- An interest in broadcast news with prior internship or classroom experience in journalism or broadcast production
Hiring decisions are based on your major field of study, past work/internship experience, and extracurricular activities. We are looking for students who will make the most of this great opportunity and are ready to work and learn in a high-paced, competitive news environment.
2019 Intern Reflection
The world of political journalism is constantly bustling and my summer at ABC News has exposed me to so many different people, places, and ideas. Every day in the office is a new adventure as the 24-hour news cycle is constantly moving. This internship in particular has pushed me to think critically about the world around me, ask questions, and constantly learn about new topics and issues.
Over the course of the summer, I had the opportunity to visit the White House, Capitol Hill, State Department, and Pentagon. I conducted research on presidential candidates, polling, and learned how to pitch stories, interview sources, and write stories for the digital platform. I additionally had the opportunity to help with live coverage during the Democratic presidential debates and even wrote pieces on some of the key moments. My boss and others in the office instilled an immense amount of trust in me to produce quality pieces, and provided constructive feedback and guidance so that I could improve my writing and reporting skills in the process.
Prior to my internship at ABC News, I had never never written for a high school or college newspaper or experienced any aspect of journalism or media. This summer, I have fallen in love with the industry -- something I would not have imagined had it not been from my eye-opening and energizing experience at ABC News. My journalistic skills have developed immensely, and I hope to experience more of this dynamic industry in years to come!
Sruthi Palaniappan '20
2018 Intern Reflection
My experience spending the summer as a Political Fellow at ABC News’ Political Unit in Washington, D.C. has been nothing short of incredible. As a rising sophomore, this internship is one of my first experiences in the dynamic world of political journalism. But given how much I’ve enjoyed and gained from my summer, I hope I’ll get the privilege of many more future experiences in this thrilling industry.
From covering the midterm elections during primary nights to reporting on a press conference on Capitol Hill to pitching my own stories about topics ranging from breaking news to long-term, salient political trends, I’ve learned so much about journalistic writing, the nature of the 24-hour news cycle, and, most importantly, the world around me. As a Political Fellow, I dove right into the important work of the Political Unit. Just two days into my internship, I published my first news story, and since then, I have pitched, written, and published many more stories.
In the words of my supervisor and ABC News’ Political Director this internship is “very entrepreneurial,” meaning interns are expected to take initiative in pitching story ideas, interviewing sources, and producing newsworthy articles. Rick and the other Political Unit team members trust interns to do meaningful and important journalistic work, while providing insightful guidance and timely feedback. Meanwhile, ABC’s digital editors work with interns closely to help them hone their writing and reporting skills.
The culture at ABC is very fast-paced, making this internship ideal for student journalists who are unafraid to take the first step in pitching bold ideas to supervisors and editors, seeing if others on the political team need help with projects or stories, and actively asking for feedback. I often stay late at work because I’m so absorbed in editing a story or interviewing a source, but I don’t mind, because I genuinely love the work I’m doing.
No two days at ABC are the same, and this lack of predictability keeps things very interesting while challenging interns to be versatile and willing to help out in all areas. I’ll never forget having to write a impromptu, breaking news piece about SCOTUS Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement with short notice, or when I pitched, wrote, and published a story about the impact of immigration on a key congressional race in Tucson (during the First Lady’s visit) in the span of just a couple of hours.
The dynamic projects I’ve worked on this summer include creating “cheat sheets” for key primary election nights, which include competitive and toss-up races, their primary candidates, vote margins, and partisan leanings, as well as helping FiveThirtyEight (an ABC affiliate) assess the success of Democratic primary candidates by developing a database with biographical information and vote percentages. I’ve also written updates for ABC’s live blog during primary election nights and assisted with ABC’s Powerhouse Politics podcast by writing digital stories. This internship has challenged me as a writer and critical thinker and pushed me to new heights, and also gave me the opportunity of a lifetime while exposing me to an incredibly fulfilling career path, and I’m forever grateful to the Institute of Politics for gifting me with such a phenomenal summer experience.
Meena Venkataramanan '21
2017 Intern Reflection
My experience interning at ABC’s Political Unit in D.C. has far exceeded my expectations. While ABC is one of the nation’s largest news outlets, the Political Unit is small, and I have been given substantive work as an intern. Our team is responsible for covering all things political in domestic news, and, in today’s political landscape, that means the “day-to-day” is incredibly variable. On any given day I can be expected to monitor the various Morning Shows featuring members of Congress, track trends in White House Communications (read: presidential tweet storms and Sean Spicer’s briefings), or go out to a press conference as ABC’s reporter. Any “newsworthy” information I gather I am typically expected to file a story on, meaning I am able to produce pieces from source to final product.
Prior to this summer, I had never worked in journalism, whether that be writing for a campus publication or doing any media work. My colleagues and superiors were well aware of this fact at the start of my internship, yet, from the moment I walked into the office, they trusted me to produce strong, publishable work. Their confidence in me, along with their unending willingness to offer a helping hand and words of advice, allowed me to feel completely comfortable producing the work asked of me. ABC has provided me with endless insight into the work of journalism, broadcast television, and the government proceedings of Washington. Each day comes with a new surprise, and I would highly recommend this internship to anybody looking to dive right into the dynamic world of political news.
Caroline Cohen '19