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Daniel Grimes

Daniel Grimes (MSJ19)

Morning/Noon Anchor at WDBJ7

Daniel Grimes

The hands-on training Daniel Grimes got in Medill’s graduate journalism program prepared him to shoot, write and edit a story in a matter of hours, and he put those skills into practice during just his second week on the job at the NBC affiliate in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Grimes specialized in Politics, Policy and Foreign Affairs at Medill, spending three quarters at Medill’s Washington newsroom getting the practice he needed to land his on-air job right after graduation.

Tell us about your career path.

I studied politics at the University of Virginia and then taught history in Brooklyn, New York, through Teach for America. A friend approached me about hosting a talk show on I worked with their producers to film a pilot episode and pitched the show to their CEO. The show didn’t work out, but it sparked my interest in media and led me to apply to Medill.

What are your main responsibilities at NBC29?

I’m a general assignment reporter for the station so I cover all things Charlottesville. So far, I’ve talked politics with political analyst Larry Sabato, donned a hard hat to explore the construction of a new food hall and sported a bee suit to discuss a statewide beehive distribution program.

How has your Medill training helped you in your career so far?

We have a 9:30 a.m. pitch meeting every morning. My second week I was handed a camera and tripod and told to cover a story. 

I had to set up, shoot, write and edit the interview all before the 5 p.m. live show. It was a lot! Without Medill showing me editing short cuts, the importance of using lighting or ensuring that I had a solid pitch, I would have been totally lost at NBC29.

How did the Medill help you in landing your job?

On the day of my interview at NBC29, the news director told me I was sitting in his office because of my resume. The Medill name definitely helped. The D.C. program sets you up with a Medill alum every quarter, so I’ve met quite a few alums who will likely help me sometime in the future when I return to cover Washington full-time.

What advice do you have for someone considering Medill? 

Medill understands the current media landscape better than any other program. Most programs are still offering the traditional broadcast vs. print route, but Medill allows you learn reporting through the lenses of your interest area. I loved reporting in Washington and covering the White House and Capitol Hill–I was a staple at Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s press conferences. I know my friends in Sports Media, Social Justice and Investigative Reporting and other specializations enjoyed getting to dive into their interests as well.