The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Class of 2021 First-Year Fellow: Wally Joe Cook

FYF Wally Joe Cook

As a First-Year Fellow, Wally Joe Cook ’21 interned at Voice of America under the mentorship of John Lippman ’71. The following is an excerpt from his final report.

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As a First-Year Fellow, Wally Joe Cook ’21 interned at Voice of America under the mentorship of John Lippman ’71. The following is an excerpt from his final report.

This summer, I interned at Voice of America (VOA). VOA provides unbiased news to developing nations with restricted media environments. The organization operates under the VOA Charter, which ensures its nonpartisan status as a “consistently reliable and authoritative source of news.” Voice of America is constantly expanding to reach new marginalized populations and currently broadcasts in 45 languages.

As an intern at Voice of America, I had three main responsibilities. First, I rewrote the fact sheets for the sixteen most strategically important language services.  The fact sheets offer a glimpse into the operations of different language services and are seen by members of Congress and the executive branch.  Additionally, my edits were specifically intended to introduce the next CEO of the Board of Broadcasting Governors to VOA’s language services.  It is expected that President Trump will appoint a new CEO in the near future.

Second, I produced an introductory video for former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the 2018 Democracy Awards, which is organized by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems.  In order to complete this project, I took training in Dalet Plus, Dalet Webspace, Dalet Archive, and Adobe Premier Pro.  By the end of the internship, I was proficient with all four video editing programs.  The completed project tells the story of Sirleaf’s life, starting with her childhood and ending with her presidency as the first elected female African head of state in history.  The video also includes interviews with Liberian women who have been inspired by Sirleaf.

Lastly, I helped expand the VOA intern program by assisting with intern events, including the organization-wide intern orientation.  Additionally, I created a group chat to connect interns with each other and conducted a survey of the interns to gather feedback about their experiences with VOA.

Thank you to everyone at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences for all of your hard work in making this amazing program a possibility.

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