Taylor Moore never considered herself a politico.
Now the young journalism student is preparing to head to Washington, D.C., to work as an intern on “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” on CNN for the summer.
Moore, 20, of Amherst, met Blitzer in a hotel during the Republican National Conference in 2016. CNN employees were staying at a Cleveland hotel and she asked her father, a vice president for the chain, if she could discretely hang out and watch for news personalities.
“I was wearing my Ohio University shirt and sitting in the lobby by myself,” she remembers. “(Blitzer) saw me and came right up to ask me about it and we talked about the journalism school there.” He gave her a business card.
Moore’s interest in journalism started at Steele High School, where she studied in Mark Lowrie’s television production class. Under his guidance, students produce the “Steele News Live” show with daily announcements and features.
Lowrie put Moore on the path to OU, where she just completed her sophomore year. Last summer, she scored an internship with Synaptic Digital, helping to create turnkey content for television media outlets — for example, she helped craft pieces on Keurig, a Paramount motion picture, and the NFL concussion settlement.
Building on that experience, she applied for an internship on NBC’s “The Today Show.”
“That’s something I never thought I’d get, especially as a sophomore when most people get to do it as a senior internship,” she said. “I watch that show every day and I never thought I’d be hearing back from them, one — or two, going there and working there.”
But Moore got the acceptance call and in January became a New Yorker. She remembers the excitement and anxiety of reporting to 30 Rockefeller Plaza for her first day of work and how stepping foot in the iconic building “made it all feel real.”
Every day there was different. Some she spent in the studio’s control room, others in the green room, and yet more on the plaza. Moore found herself at ease working with producers, on-air personalities, and assistants.
And she was surprised to discover that that the same terminology and principles she learned in Lowrie’s small Amherst classroom were used — albeit on a much larger scale — at “The Today Show.”
Moore said she had the chance to sit down with presenters Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb and learned how their careers started modestly and how both dealt with rejection time and again through the years.
“I can relate to that because even if I get set back I can say, ‘Keep going, keep going,’ and know there is always a chance to make it,” Moore said.
While there’s plenty of time to explore career options, Moore said she’s leaning away from an in-front-of-the-camera career and sees herself more as a producer.
And with Blitzer’s show on the horizon, she is starting to consider politics as a journalistic focus.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.