What Goes Into A Story

Cal-In-Sac 2014 is off to a great start and there is a solid group of fellows occupying the Upper Eastside Lofts this summer. I haven’t yet completed a full week working with the Governor’s Press Office, but I already have a different perspective of media and what goes into a story.

We have accomplished a wide array of tasks in this first week. We scour the front page of every major newspaper printed throughout the state every morning for pertinent stories related to the governor, write press releases (sans Oxford commas), and pretend like we aren't listening to the governor’s voice emanating from the speaker phone in the other room as he discusses the day’s political agenda with aides (I promise I’m not really listening).

What most surprises me thus far is how involved they allow me to be. When I hear the phone ring I imagine how a misplaced word to a reporter inquiring about the day’s hot topic could completely ruin our interdependent relationship or falsify a story and discredit the administration. However, I take pride in being empowered with that responsibility and I wouldn't want it any other way. I can’t believe I’m actually involved with this impressive operation.

A perk of working in the press office is that it is Sutter Brown’s (First Dog of Cali) favorite within the Governor’s Office. He randomly makes his way around our office getting to know each of us (mostly to see if we have treats or if you’ll take some time to pet him). He is a delight to have around and petting him is a great excuse for a mental break.

The last four days have been surreal. It’s provided me an outlet to give real world applications to a lot of the concepts I’ve learned in Berkeley classrooms. I can’t imagine how I’ll feel after the summer (hopefully fully employed), but this is my new reality.

I'll check back in soon, stay tuned.


Steven Zimmer just graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Political Science. He is currently interning in the Governor's Press Office as a Cal in Sacramento Fellow.