Every aspiring journalist is in search of a career-making interview. Many go for years without a break, but for TFAS alumnus Nicholas Ballasy (J 07), interviewing heavy weights like former President Bill Clinton is just another day on the job as senior video reporter for The Daily Caller.
According to Ballasy, much of his work today at The Daily Caller hinges on the extensive knowledge he gained through his classes as a student in the Institute on Political Journalism.
The economy is a common thread in a lot of my reporting from Capitol Hill, so these classes have served as an excellent asset in my professional life.”
Ballasy began his career in journalism with his 2007 IPJ internship at CNN’s White House Unit. According to Ballasy, because of his summer at TFAS, he was able to make an easy transition to a full-time job in the city after graduation. IPJ helped him become familiar with the inner workings of Washington through the professional connections he made at his internship and through the TFAS alumni network. Student events at places such as the National Press Club and U.S. Capitol were also beneficial to his career.
As the only intern at the White House Unit, Ballasy was given a great deal of responsibility, which he says allowed him to learn the mechanics of a professional broadcast from start to finish. While at CNN, Ballasy worked directly with two correspondents he admired from television, Ed Henry and Suzanne Malveaux, who offered valuable feedback about being on camera.
Judging from the list of famous people Ballasy has already checked off of his interview list, he is heading for a bright future in journalism.
His resume includes interviews with House Speaker John Boehner, Govs. Mitt Romney, Howard Dean and Tim Pawlenty as well as Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and John Kerry (Mass.). Other big names include former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, White House Advisor David Axelrod and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
His accomplishments don’t end with Capitol Hill either. Ballasy has also interviewed some of the most recognized names in Hollywood such as Oscar winners Kevin Spacey, Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, Matt Damon and Richard Dreyfuss as well as film directors George Lucas and James Cameron. His sit-down interview with Host Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday won a Telly Award in 2008. Prior to joining The Daily Caller, Ballasy worked at CNS News where he covered Congress. CLICK HERE to see a sampling of Ballasy in action.
In his spare time Ballasy still finds time to give back to TFAS. He has volunteered as a mentor to TFAS students and is currently a part of the inaugural class of TFAS Journalism Fellows.