As an intern at Voice of America, I not only have the opportunity to work inside of this agency and learn how it functions, but I am also able to experience the exhilarating arena that is Washington DC politics. Because VOA reports news daily, it is inevitable that an intern here will be immersed in current events. I stay up-to-date on domestic events along with international events and how they are intertwined simply by being here and absorbing all that I can.
On a Thursday morning June 28th
, I was able to walk to the Supreme Court for what many have called the biggest Court case in decades—the Affordable Care Act. “Obamacare”, as conservatives deemed it upon its approval in Congress and liberals have recently embraced, has caused a rift between republicans and democrats. This was evident in the divide between those in front of the court that day. On one side were the ones cheering “We love Obamacare!” and holding signs promoting women’s health and reform, and on the other side people were chanting “The Constitution matters!” and flashing prolife and tea party signs.
Because I did not have a banner or sign, I was able to stand on the front steps of the court. I observed thousands of protesters, reporters standing at the front lines, and speakers such as Michele Bachmann.
I am from a suburb of Atlanta and am new to the DC area, so the experience was thrilling for me. I was interviewed by a Chinese reporter, I watched as Hispanic news channels reported in Spanish, I stood behind US senators answering questions, and I was fully submerged into the confusion many were facing as we waited for the ruling. Everyone scrambled to check CNN, read their email, and listen closely for updates on the verdict. The people around me and I were even some of the first to notice CNN’s misreporting. We were on the frontlines! We were the first to know!
To watch all of the excitement and debate on the news is one thing, but to be there and have the opportunity to see it in real time is another. Politics have always sparked my interest and being on the court steps as the Supreme Court announced its 5-4 decision in favor of the mandate only confirmed my feelings. Here in DC there is always something sensational and new waiting to happen around every corner, and I hope to be here in the future to catch all of the excitement.
Alice Barsky, Special Events Intern: Summer 2012