Editor's Note: This narrative was written by intern Morkeh Blay-Tofey on his last day as a look inside the life of an intern at "Piers Morgan Tonight." Internships are now open for Spring 2012. Thank you for all of your hard work Morkeh!
It was a nice fall day in late September, and I was given a task. Not a typical coffee run that would send most interns into a noticeable grimace. This one was a bit unusual.
The objective: go to Kelsey Grammer’s apartment and obtain photos for his interview later that day. So, I flagged down the next taxi to start my quest.
Once I got to the front desk, I told the security guard that I was sent from CNN and "Piers Morgan Tonight" to obtain photos from Mr. Grammer for his interview. I sat for a few minutes and the guard told me to go up the elevator. When the elevator doors opened, lo and behold, the prolific actor emerges with a warm smile and says, “Hi, I’m Kelsey.” I said, “Nice to meet you Kelsey. I’m Morkeh.” After some light banter, I secured the photos and hopped into the nearest taxi across the street to head back to the office. Not too shabby for an intern in his first week.
I had the opportunity to learn about the intricacies of a prime time news show from lively story inception and administrative meetings, to expositions of research and obtaining photo and video materials. A method that comes to mind instinctively is a process where one records clips from the internet and transfers to a digital server, called webrolls. There were plenty of those: webrolls, webrolls, and guess what – webrolls with a side of guest packets sometimes. (Thanks, especially the guys and ladies working the ingests queue on the fourth floor. I’m sure I annoyed the hell out of all of you, especially Larry.) Then there was sitting in the control room and observing the controlled madness that occurs in a live show while I skillfully work the prompter with surprisingly little backlash (Thanks Piers for being patient with me).
Admittedly, it wasn’t all bliss, but in the moments of traditional internship work, I found solace. Mozart, a website to log show music, ensured that I watched each show very closely for time codes. I am a pro at making DVDs and sending them off to guests. I can now recall the script word for word from the Jeb Bush interview and I can recall which of the photos I picked out that got used on the show (thanks).
Through it all, I have enjoyed every moment and I am extremely lucky to have had this opportunity. I will miss the hundreds of emails I receive on Outlook daily, and the unusual opportunities. From heading to a toy store to retrieve the 90’s classic Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots for a Manny Pacquiao promotion to receiving the glorious opportunity to sit at the coveted ‘table’ when most of the crew was out (thanks).
I often had this question put on me during my time here: 'Did you learn anything?' Even though it was meant as a workplace joke, looking back I say definitely. I have learned many tools of the trade that will guide me though journalistic endeavors and life in general. This experience definitely strengthened my interest in journalism and gave me new light on the nuances of broadcast and the culture of "Piers Morgan Tonight" as a show (I know I got clowned for my shirt and tie on the first week, thanks) and CNN itself.
As I wrap up my time as an intern for Piers Morgan Tonight, a few noticeable words flash in my mind: 'All good things must come to an end.'
I am one to believe that not only is this nauseatingly cliche, but it is incorrect. There are good times ahead. My time here with the 'Piers Morgan Tonight' crew was a mix of unusual spontaneity and healthy development that I will cherish dearly. I would like to extend a huge thank you for taking me under your wing and good luck to everyone on the crew (shout-out to the string of weddings that are about to take place soon). I would like to especially thank my partner in crime Andy Apuy for helping me out along the way and working through the intern grind with me. I believe that I learned much more from all of you than you possibly learned from me. It has been a great few months, and who knows, maybe I’ll see you guys at CNN sometime in the future.