CNN - Fareed Zakaria GPS

CNN-Fareed Zakaria 

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, read and summarize books, 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.

Requirements:

  • 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 and Fridays is mandatory. Occasional Sunday morning availability necessary.

2019 Intern Reflection

Working at Fareed Zakaria GPS has been one of the most interesting internship experiences I’ve had. It has exposed me to the specifics of producing a show for air, what it’s like to work at a place like CNN, and the excitement of dealing with ideas, international news, and incisive analysis on a day-to-day basis. Never in my life have I been this in tune with what's happening around the world -- it's like keeping one's finger on the pulse of geopolitics. As an intern, I have had the chance to pitch ideas, meet guests, and contribute to the technical side of the show -- finding images and footage, time-coding, fact-checking, etc. Thus far, I’ve written a book report on cybersecurity, worked on a live show featuring a guest on the streets from the Hong Kong protests, watched Fareed interview Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the Council on Foreign Relations, and pulled visual elements for topics ranging from the G20 summit to the 1960s civil rights sit-in movement to the LGBTQ Pride Month.

It’s refreshing to examine news in a weekly format instead of the daily news cycle. More than highlighting headlines, GPS has been about analyzing news in an intelligent manner with multiple perspectives as well as about unlikely stories that deserve be told (for instance, there was one about lassoing icebergs to solve the water crisis in Cape Town). The close-knit team provides a collaborative and open setting, where ideas from interns matter. Fareed has also taken the time to have conversations with us. In short, this internship has transformed the way I engage with international news.

If you’re at all interested in what lies at the intersection of international relations, media, journalism, or even storytelling at large, I highly recommend this dynamic, interdisciplinary experience.

Xinyue Selina Xu '21

2018 Intern Reflection

I have greatly enjoyed working at Fareed Zakaria, GPS. The work here has been interesting and exciting, with each week covering the biggest issues of the world analyzed by the most knowledgeable experts. As an intern, I have pitched stories and ideas for consideration to include in the weekly show, edited video and visuals to add to stories, worked on live shows, and more. The team is close-knit and much smaller than I would have expected for a wide-reaching news program, as less employees are required for a weekly show than for a live show.

GPS’s focus on analyzing the news in a weekly format, rather than focusing on breaking the news in a 24 hour format, enables engaging and objective discussion that I believe is unique among most news programs. It has been amazing to be able to help create this dialogue, and I am very grateful that I have been able to be a part of the show. As a concentrator in Government, I found my interest in international relations helpful for this internship, and would highly recommend this program to anyone searching for an opportunity that involves any related studies as well as journalism or television production / video editing.

George Attia Alexander '20

My internship at Fareed Zakaria has been an extremely educational and interesting one. Having the privilege to contribute to the production of such an informative and nationally important show and learn from the people making it has been one of the highlights of my experiences at Harvard (or due to it). I have enjoyed working in the show’s dynamic and very collaborative setting, where the entire team discusses all ideas and approaches to themes of the week that eventually make it on air.

As an intern, I’ve had the chance to write stories for the show and pitch potential guests, and seeing those air has been incredibly rewarding. My responsibilities also have ranged from doing research on guests such as the Bulgarian artist Christo who installs massive public artworks, to reading books on topics such as the problems of the current U.S. immigration system or the challenges of writing speeches for President Obama. I have also learned about the technical side of producing the show, as I’ve had to find footage that most accurately and most compellingly tells the story in a visual way.


The internship has been an excellent way for me to learn about journalism and international and economic issues, and I would recommend it to anyone even a little bit interested in them.

Petra Orskovic '20

2017 Intern Reflection

Working at Fareed Zakaria GPS has been one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences I have had at Harvard.  As an intern, I get to work with a small and tight-knit team including Fareed and his producers, and get to grapple with the biggest issues in the world each week.  The office culture is supportive and collaborative, in addition to being fast-paced and exacting.  I have loved how the entire team has been supportive and totally open to any ideas and contributions, and I have been challenged by how they hold me (and themselves) to the highest standard.

I have had to triple check refugee numbers from the original government statistics and read over 200 pages in under 24 hours to help prepare for a guest’s interview.  Other assignments have included pulling videos of President Trump threatening to “bomb the hell” out of ISIS of CNN’s database and writing a segment about America’s new aircraft carrier that made it onto the air.  It has been a ton of fun, and you walk away from each week knowing you made a meaningful (if small) contribution to one of America’s top national shows, watched by hundreds of thousands each week.  I would recommend this internship without reservations to anyone looking to get some exposure to journalism, an anyone with any interest in international affairs.

Philip Balson '19

New York City, NY