Presha currently works as a digital producer for MSNBC and is in charge of the social strategy and growth for MSNBC's 6 p.m. programming. He also writes articles and producer segments for TV.
Just a few months after graduation, Alex Presha (BSJ 09) was already a part of New York’s fast-paced media scene. Presha was chosen as one of six journalists from a pool of 1,200 applicants to be an NBC Universal news associate in New York City for one year. As news associate, Presha worked at Nightly News with Brian Williams, producing content for television. He also shot and edited content for theGrio.com, NBC’s African-American news site.
Previously, Presha was an associate producer for NBC. On a daily basis, he helped prepare three hours of news about both local and national events, which entailed everything from editing the work of reporters to shooting his own packages. Presha says sometimes he had to edit and script a reporter’s work as it was sent to him piece-by-piece from a remote location, which required precise writing skills.
“Medill definitely shored up my writing, which is something you have to be able to do in this business,” he says. “If you’re able to write well, then you’ll have a place.”
Presha says his experience at Medill also helped prepare him for the rigor of covering breaking news, though he says the pace of work in New York is “faster than anything I’ve ever done.” While shooting a documentary his senior year helped improve his camera work, Presha says Medill’s Journalism Residency program provided him the most useful experiences.
“I think Medill having the residency program, actually getting to work in a newsroom, it’s an experience that is invaluable because nobody else is doing it to my knowledge,” says Presha, who completed his residency in Lansing, Mich. “Coming in I knew what newsroom culture is like. I was familiar with pitching stories and all that comes along with that.”
Presha has been in the newsroom for major events like the capture and killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden and the arrival of Hurricane Irene. He says confidence is essential to acquiring such an up-front position in the world of news.
“Don’t be afraid to get after what you want,” Presha says. “It’s good to be a go-getter because you’re not afraid to volunteer for challenging tasks and that’s what gets you places in newsrooms.”
Medill definitely shored up my writing, which is something you have to be able to do in this business. If you’re able to write well, then you’ll have a place.