Brigette Adu-Wadier

By: Zion Williams

SRL Spring 2024 Intern Zion Williams caught up with former SRL Summer Academy Fellow Brigette Adu-Wadier who is pursuing journalism at Northwestern and is a current intern at NBC News. Dig in to this convo for inspiration, advice, and a peek behind the scenes at NBC intern life.

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity

What made you want to pursue journalism?

 I think what inspired me to pursue journalism was the variety of digital media and media opportunities. I  was curious aboutwhat photography and videography were and how I could use them to convey information in a powerful way. The opportunity to be creative with how I tell stories and use a variety of different mediums, attracted me to journalism and media growing up. I liked fiction novels and I like to write short stories, I think I applied that passion to real-world experiences, what I heard people in my community going through, and different stories that I wanted to investigate.

Do you believe, being an SRL Academy fellow helped you get to where you are today? 

I didn’t have as much formal education in videography and I wanted to get stronger. I wanted to be able to learn by doing. When I was in high school I was really curious about video and I consumed a lot of video news.  I was trying to teach myself video editing. I didn’t have as much training on how to set up a shot for an interview or how to do a wide shot, a medium shot, or a tight shot. So I do think SRL made a really big difference for me. It opened my eyes to this other side of digital media that was viral. That was based on short-form content, and it taught me to think about how I can produce news for my generation that resonates with them. It also made me think critically about what types of audiences I want to speak to, what types of people I want to address, and what types of issues I want to report on.  I think SRL got me to where I am today by allowing me to do the journalism that I knew I was always interested in and I knew I always wanted to do, and it put me out in the field. 

What is it like working for NBC News Now as a production intern?

 I think it’s really fun. I help with scripts and my main role is editing videos. I’m editing news packages and basically anything visual. I work with producers to bring these elements to life and get them to air for all segments of the show. I started working with them as an intern last summer, and then I got extended throughout the school year to continue working. I’m currently remote a couple of days out of the week. I’m not part-time like I used to be.

I think it was great for me to hear from people who have been in the industry for a few years. I talked to a lot of people who were a couple of years out of college just to hear their perspectives. I also talked to a lot of people who had been in the industry for ten or 15 years, and they talked about how the industry has evolved for them and what things are different.I think the internship has opened doors for me. It also has confirmed for me that producing is something that I want to do, I want to work on a show and produce stories for a live broadcast setting and be in the newsroom. 

What advice do you have for young aspiring journalists?

Don’t be afraid to do a couple of projects even if they’re not published. Don’t worry about them being out in the world somewhere because I think they still hold power. Even though you’re a student journalist, that still makes you a journalist. If you’re still in school and you’re still learning, your work as a reporter matters. 

I think seeing young people and people my age going out and producing powerful stories, and winning awards, as well as doing these big investigative stories. That just keeps me wanting to be a part of an industry like that, where there’s constantly new stories being told, innovation, and new creativity. That is what inspires me.