“Meet the Press” offers two fellowships: One is open to students across the country and one is specifically for John Carroll University students. The fellowship at JCU was created in conjunction with NBC in honor of the late alumnus Tim Russert.
Russert was the senior vice president and Washington bureau chief for NBC News, and also the managing editor and moderator of the television show “Meet the Press.” The program is the longest continuously running television show in the U.S.
The fellowship in his honor is for a graduating JCU senior interested in pursuing a career in political journalism.
“It is not just strong grades in coursework that ‘Meet the Press’ wants; they want students who have demonstrated an understanding of deadlines, work ethic, leadership,” said Chair of the Tim Russert Department of Communications & Theatre Arts Mary Beadle.
In order to qualify, students must be majoring in political science or communications, have a minimum of a 3.5 GPA in their major, be legally allowed to work in the United States, be willing to work overtime, weekends and nights and sign a contract to be employed for nine months from September through May.
The liaison between JCU and “Meet the Press,” Dora Pruce, coordinates one event a year for past fellows to come to campus to speak with current students about the show. This past fall, the show’s executive producer, Rob Yarin, and former fellow and current production associate Dan Cooney visited the University. This semester, Pruce has arranged for the show’s host, Chuck Todd, to come to campus on Wednesday, Feb. 4.
“The fellowship affords a John Carroll University graduate the opportunity to gain experience in the research and production of the weekly political talk show under the direction of the program’s executive producer,” said Pruce. “The fellow will be exposed to the roles of editor, reporter, producer and correspondent.”
There have been six fellows from JCU so far. All of the recipients have received jobs at NBC after their fellowships, either with “Meet the Press” or NBC in Washington or New York.
Cooney gave advice for potential applicants. “Practice your journalism skills with the student media opportunities you have on campus with The Carroll News, JCTV-4 and WJCU. You have great professors in the Russert Department and the political science department who can guide you, so seek out their advice and learn as much as you can from them,” he said. “Also, get internships. JCU has the great fortune of being in the Cleveland media market, where the media outlets have lots of opportunities for college students to come in and contribute right away.”
Applications can be found at sites.jcu.edu/mtpfellowship and are due Feb. 3. Applications are reviewed by a committee made up of Pruce; Robert Noll and Mary Beadle from the communications department; senior director of media relations and communications Tonya Strong-Charles; and two faculty members from the political science department. A group of finalists are selected for an interview with the executive producer in D.C. The “Meet the Press” team makes the final decision.