A Dual-Degree Student’s Summer Experience at NPR

From Mariam Turner, a fourth-year dual degree student at UNC pursuing a JD and an MA in Mass Communication, who interned at National Public Radio:

This past summer, I had the opportunity to work at NPR in the Office of the General Counsel as the Copyright Legal Intern. NPR is a nonprofit public media organization, headquartered in DC, dedicated to producing unbiased, quality journalism and cultural programming.

During my time there, I was exposed to every type of media law issue that a large news organization deals with on a daily basis. Although my work was generally copyright focused, I was around so many brilliant attorneys who worked in every area of the law that might affect NPR and I learned a huge amount by helping out when the opportunity arose.

Most of the time, I helped answer fair use questions, resolve copyright issues that showed up on various social media sites, and conducted research. I worked with reporters and journalists to help figure out what media they could incorporate into their work without running into copyright issues, and I got a chance to meet so many amazing people during this time – although I will say there is nothing more startling then hearing someone’s voice on the radio and then speaking to them at work!

Besides the work, which was a ton of fun in its own right, I was encouraged to explore DC and go to media law related events whenever possible. I got to visit the National Press Club, have lunch with prominent media law attorneys and scholars, and so much more! I even got to watch multiple Tiny Desk concerts in person!

Overall, NPR was an absolutely amazing place to work, and I was truly sad when the summer ended. I learned so much, and realize that I really do love working in media law. If you ever have the opportunity to work there, or even just take a tour of the building, you should. It’s a wonderful place, filled with wonderful people, and this internship was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had!

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