Quanecia Fraser is proof that a communication studies education at Tarleton State University provides a solid foundation for landing internships with major news networks.
The aspiring broadcast journalist recently completed a three-month paid internship with CBS News in New York City and returns to campus with a heftier résumé after winning the network’s intern news project. Fraser and four other interns captured the praise of CBS executives and had their news segment, “Petri Dish Picassos,” declared best of the summer 2018 intern session.
Fraser and her fellow interns were tasked with finding an original story, writing and filming the segment, and editing it — all in a week. Fraser served as on-camera correspondent and interviewed several artists who create agar art in the Bio Art Lab at New York City’s School of Visual Arts and at Genspace, the world’s first community biology lab.
The project aired on CBSN, highlighting Fraser’s on-camera talents as she interviewed artists who “paint” with microbes in petri dishes. Fraser collaborated with fellow undergraduate interns from Syracuse University, the University of Minnesota, Wellesley College and the University of Southern California.
Fraser serves as executive editor of Texan News Service, the student-run journalism lab at Tarleton’s Department of Communication Studies within the College of Liberal and Fine Arts. She applied for the CBS News internship and had two interviews before being invited to work alongside journalists at the network’s broadcast center in Manhattan.
“I was really determined to get a news internship for the summer and applied to a lot of different places, including CBS News,” she said. She has a fall internship lined up with KVUE-TV, the ABC affiliate in Austin.
As part of her summer internship Fraser ventured into greater New York City with correspondents and producers, helping shoot film, logging videos and transcribing interviews — living the world of broadcast journalism alongside professionals in one of the world’s largest television markets.
“We always stress fact-checking at Texan News Service, and while at CBS News I learned just how much fact-checking they really do. It sounds simple, but I think it’s extremely important as a journalist,” she said. “The producers at CBS do everything they can to make sure the information they put out is accurate. I also learned to think on my feet and, if something doesn’t work out or if a story falls through, we had to devise a back-up plan.”
Fraser credits Texan News Service and the mentorship of Department of Communication Studies faculty for readying her for three summer months at CBS News.
“I give them so much credit in preparing me for this internship. They all played a big role ahead of this and helped me to learn what good journalism is,” she said. “Professionals told me at CBS News that the most important thing is to, first, have good journalism and good reporting skills, and I feel that I’ve learned that from my experience at Texan News.”
Fraser, a native of Little Elm, is set to graduate in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies with an emphasis in broadcast journalism. She wants to be a news correspondent with a local news station or, perhaps, with a national network.
“I really like being out in the field talking to people,” she said, “and telling their stories on camera.”