Volume 9, Issue 1
CNN recruits Communication interns
By Megan Hargroder
Not every Communication Broadcasting student realizes the dream of working for a major network, but Carol Gantt is hoping to see more of them at least get a chance. This alumna of the broadcasting program stopped in for a visit in April to drum up interest in the internship opportunities with Turner Broadcasting.
Gantt works in Media Operations at CNN’s Atlanta headquarters, which is a far cry away from her original plan of going to law school. She was a pre-law major for a year when Gantt met a KATC producer and took an internship at the television station. She then switched her major to journalism and then to broadcasting.
”I started in Lafayette as a 'grunge' and learned everything I need to know here, went to Columbus, Ga. as a producer in 2000, stayed there for three years and then went to Augusta for a year and then got to CNN,” she explained.
The former local TV journalist said that she was not overwhelmed with working at a large-scale media outlet like CNN because her days as a producer made her get used to juggling.
Now, Gantt describes her job as one where she wears many hats, acting as a liaison between her department and the newsroom, reviewing video before it hits the air and transcribing and archiving video.
”Basically, I watch TV all day,” she joked.
Gantt calls the “climb to the top” in the media world a “slow progression.”
”Networking is absolutely necessary,” she explained. “Sometimes it really is about who you know.”
Gantt said that starting small isn't a bad thing, and that there are several media outlets here in Lafayette where students can get started before they are even out of college.
”Pick what you want to do and then all you have to do is make a phone call,” she said. “Say 'this is who I am, this is what I want, can you help me, and if you can't then could you direct me to someone who can?”
Gantt also stressed the importance of campus organizations geared toward Communication majors such as NABJ, SPJ and RTNDA. “Those organizations are here for a reason. They look great on résumés — that's true, but use the resources within them to get what you want.”
She also said people need to know that NABJ is not just for black journalists.
”It's not as geared towards one race of people anymore. The reason these groups were made in the first place was because they weren't allowed in the other ones. Those things have changed. So use the resources you have to get what you want.”
Gantt said the media business is all about “showing up and showing out. “You can't be in this business and not be assertive. If you have thin skin and wear your heart on your sleeve then you need to get out. It's not a nice business.”