Ask the Alumnus | John Dargan
Since interning with Student Reporting Labs and NewsHour Extra in 2012, John Dargan has worked with some of the most-recognized names in television and the Internet.
What have you been up to since SRL?
Since being an intern at PBS NewsHour I’ve worked in television and digital journalism. I was a production assistant on Season 2 of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and a production assistant on various TV shows and awards shows including the MTV Video Music Awards and Nickelodeon Halo Awards. I was also an intern at BuzzFeed, Associate Producer at Gizmodo Media Group and currently an Associate Producer at Rodale.
What experiences or lessons do you value most from your time with SRL and NewsHour Extra?
I really learned the importance of good storytelling. The staff was hands on in regards to all of my projects and they provided me with a solid platform and the resources to tell my stories. One of the best moments of working with the NewsHour Extra team was when we got to cover the inauguration in January 2013. Not only was I at the ceremony getting footage, but that whole weekend I worked on another short documentary and did “man on the street” interviews. It was my first experience working in a real newsroom and it was lifechanging.
What advice do you have for current SRL participants?
Do not be afraid to ask for help or pitch any kind of story. I remember I was able to do a story about what it’s like to be LGBT and have Obama as president because it was a topic of interest to me. The NewsHour is providing you with the resources to tell great stories so always put your ideas on the table, no matter how they sound because you never know what kind of content you could create after workshopping it.
How has being a journalist helped you grow as a young adult?
I’ve learned to take risks. Being a journalist, for me, means getting the content out into the world, and you have to be out of your comfort zone many times in journalism. Whether it’s talking to a complete stranger or creating content about a topic you don’t know anything about. I’ve learned to welcome my discomfort zone by being a journalist.