Skip to content

Jonathan Blakely gives journalists tips on why working for free pays off


Jonathan Blakely Photo credit: Jonathan Blakely

Jonathan Blakely Photo credit: Jonathan Blakely

Jonathan Blakely
The CBS Evening News w/ Scott Pelley

The George Washington University, B. A.

Jonathan Blakely is a Producer for the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley. This appointment in 2015 was his third promotion in under four years at CBS News where he previously served as an Associate Producer for the same show. His first year at Evening News, Jonathan made a name for himself during CBS News’ coverage of the Michael Brown shooting death and subsequent riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Since then, Jonathan has covered a wide range of stories across the country – from blizzards and floods, to prison escape manhunts, to other officer involved shooting deaths and riots, to the heroin epidemic in America.

The Path

Blakely has always been interested in news and politics. His first break in journalism came by way of a fellowship with CNN working on the show “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”

“When I enrolled at the George Washington University, I interned with CNN and CBS News during my freshman year and I loved it. The next year, I interned on Capitol Hill and — putting it delicately — did not love it nearly as much. The news ‘bug’ just bit me harder than the political one,” Blakely shares.

Blakely’s initial internship at CBS News was unpaid; however, he was fortunate to receive paid internships thereafter. “I would advise journalists to take whatever opportunities are available that put them in (or closer to) the environment in which they ultimately want to work. While it was unpaid, the CBS News internship I got eventually led to a full time job – whereas all the other places I had paid internships in college (CNN, ABC News, etc.), weren’t hiring when I graduated. You never know where the chips will fall. Take as many opportunities as you can that get you closer to what you want to do – paid or unpaid – and make it work,” Blakely advises.


Blakely is the producer on a new heroin series that premiered last May entitled “In the Shadow of Death: Jason’s Journey.” The series profiles a 30-year-old man’s struggle to beat heroin addiction.”

@JonathanBlakely tweeted