When asked about the highlight of his first month in D.C., Michael Sorge (CSS 14) will ask in return, “Is it not cheating to say State of the Union?”
The SUNY Purchase junior is interning at the Washington Bureau for Time Warner Cable for the semester, and attended President Obama’s a
ddress on Jan. 28 at the U.S. Capitol.
“Being at State of the Union cemented that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life,” Sorge said. “It was definitely a cool experience.”
Sorge was in the thick of the press corps throughout the entire day of the event. He assisted his colleagues with the pre-speech interviews and even got to draft interview questions for Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas). Sorge said he created the questions based on his knowledge of current events, and by doing research on Politifact.
During the speech, Sorge and members of the media watched the text over a feed. They all received a copy of the speech as soon as President Obama began the address. Then the reporters were in motion, preparing for their stories, Sorge said.
After the speech, the reporters had a number of representatives lined up for interviews. Although when Rep. Michael Grimm (N.Y.) had an altercation with a member of the press corps, Sorge said the entire plan for the evening shifted in response to what became national news. Sorge got a real-life, political media experience.
“I’m glad that I went to State of the Union,” Sorge said. “I don’t want it to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’d like to be back there next year and the year after.”
Sorge’s daily tasks at his internship include logging notes from White House press briefings, taking notes during senators’ speeches and assisting staff reporters as needed.
He said the most difficult part for him is learning to use the necessary equipment. Although technically challenging, he now can set up a tripod, camera and disassemble the equipment at events. The internship has exposed him to a set of skills he now knows he needs to refine, he said.
He’s not sure what may come next at his internship, but his favorite aspect of his experience in D.C. is being in the news environment.
“My favorite thing is to be here, close to doing what I want to do with my future,” Sorge said. “It’s a different lens to view what I want to do.”
Another highlight for the journalism buff? Touring the Newseum with the other Capital Semester students. Sorge has aspirations to take the reigns as moderator of Meet the Press one day, and he was excited to see an exhibit dedicated especially to Tim Russert.
For more information on Capital Semester, visit www.DCinternships.org.