Monthly Archives: August 2019

Georgia On My Mind…

I’m writing this final blog post from the comfort of my own home back in Minnesota. It’s crazy to think that ten weeks in Atlanta have come and gone.

It was an absolute joy to work at CNN this summer. The things I learned, the people I met, the experiences I had, I will never forget them.

Key highlights of the summer include: “Shooting the Hooch” (tubing down the Chattahoochee River); dominating trivia every week with the Turn-Terns; hunting all the tiny doors in the city (check out #tinydooratl for more info!); exploring all of the different museums, like the Jimmy Carter Center, History Center, College Football Hall of Fame, and several others; and just about every single day at work.

I wouldn’t change a single thing about this experience. I grew not only as a person, but as an academic, an employee, and an American citizen. I got to experience living in the South for the first time, and learn more about my personal research and career aspirations. I learned how to work outside of an academic environment, and continue to work with materials available to a wide audience, which is something that I am truly passionate about.

Thank you, CNN, for the summer of a lifetime. I will never forget it.

We Did It!

This was it. The final week of the internship at CNN. The week has by no means been easy. From the aftermath of the shootings in El Paso and Dayton this weekend, to trying to finish up any and all projects that I have been working on, there has been no letting up. But, on a lighter note, so many things have happened!

First, an update on the Impossible Task. I managed to figure out the dataframe issues I was having. So, I was then able to test it on a sample set to see if I could start dropping rows based on certain conditions. And I could. Which means, that challenge that I accepted a few weeks ago? CHALLENGE COMPLETED. What I think is so cool is that none of us thought that this program could work. We thought we could try a bunch of different things, but the end result would not affect anything. And then it ended up working. This program, along with my web scraping project, are by far my two greatest accomplishments of the summer.

I had a meeting with the archives director Friday afternoon to show him how the Impossible Task program worked. I did tell him that I was shocked it actually worked, but I am so glad that it does. I walked him through exactly what each section of code meant and what it did to and for the information we wanted to pull. He said that it all looked great, and he is looking forward to digging into it more and potentially implementing it for his team. He said the work I did will more than likely make their jobs a lot easier. And that makes me feel incredibly proud.

I also had my last meetings with my supervisors to recap everything that I did over the summer. They reassured me that everything I did this summer will be beneficial to the future of the department. I guess I never realized just how much work I did this summer until it was all said and done. I think a big reason for that is because it has been such enjoyable work. I am doing the things I love and seeing the difference it makes in real time.

We also had a big internship send off party on Thursday over at the Techwood campus (Cartoon Network, TCM, and all those Warner Media company offices are over there). All the interns from across the company got together to play games, eat snacks and ice cream, and have one last group bonding session before we all head our separate ways this summer.

I made sure to walk through a few special places at CNN Center before I walked out the doors. The Newsroom, in particular; the terrace, where I would eat lunch with my friends; and just standing in the atrium looking at everything. I have learned so much through this internship and I am so grateful for the time that I have spent here.

The Beginning of the End.

The second to last week of the internship has been a whirlwind. The biggest thing we worked on this week was finalizing and presenting our intern group projects. I had mentioned in a previous post that we were all assigned to groups on the very first day of the program. Throughout the summer, we developed new ideas to pitch to various CNN executives at the presentation that occurred on Wednesday.

Our presentation went as well as it could have, and that is all I can ask for. It was very fun and interesting to also hear the pitches of other groups and see how our ideas were either similar or different.

More than anything, though, I have been working on the Impossible Task. As an update, I finally figured out how to parse the information I wanted from the generated XML file and input the results into a spreadsheet. What I am hung up on now is how to start deleting rows we know have content that determines we cannot archive that item. Let me explain:

A “slug” is a name given to a media file. It helps us determine what the file is about. However, if the slug is “kill kill kill,” that means that we no longer need that file. So, I am now trying to find these slugs in the spreadsheet and delete the corresponding rows. In doing so, I create a list of items that we are very, very confident will need to be archived, thus making the lives of the selection archivists easier.

That is part of the reason why we have been referring to it as the Impossible Task. We are not sure if the code will work, or if we will do anything to help the archivists. But I said challenge accepted, and I want to try and make as much headway on it as possible before I leave next week. The next item on the list: what is a data frame, and can I do anything with it in relation to the Impossible Task?