March 22, 2016

A group of broadcast journalism students from New York Film Academy were given a very special behind-the-scenes tour around NBC studios and newsrooms. The “tour guide” for the day was Colonel Jack Jacobs, a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, America’s highest military honor. Colonel Jacobs is a military analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, as well as the chair of NYFA’s Veterans Advancement Program.

An all-female group of future broadcast journalists from around the world (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Nigeria, Pakistan, India, Algeria, USA) visited the sets of such shows as Nightly News with Lester Holt, Saturday Night Live, and MSNBC Live. They also had the opportunity to check out the spacious Today Show newsroom. With little staff on weekend duty, students had plenty of time to ask questions and take pictures.

Having Colonel Jacobs as a tour guide was not only a great honor, but also made for a very insightful experience as he shared his knowledge of the industry and talked about the future of broadcast journalism. He also let students in on the fact that he has his own TV studio at his home in New Jersey so that he could go on air whenever NBC or MSNBC needs him.

One of the standout highlights of the visit was a glimpse of the control room, which almost resembles a spaceship in some ways. With dozens of screens in the room, there are actually not too many people operating all of the equipment, as the process is becoming more and more automated.

The tour concluded in a group photo as Colonel Jacobs and the students posed in front of the iconic NBC News sign in the background. Many of these students will be out looking for jobs as early as next week as the 8-week Broadcast Journalism Workshop comes to an end. All of them agreed that NBC is a dream place to work at and thanked NYFA for the unique opportunity to go behind-the-scenes with such an exceptional guide.