What Is The Running Of The Interns?

These interns kept a Supreme Court tradition alive this week, delivering breaking news on foot to network correspondents

Photo: K Tully McManus/@ktullymcmanus
Photo: K Tully McManus/@ktullymcmanus

History was made early this morning, as the Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. The decision, which quickly made #Lovewins trending with more than 2 million tweets in just a few hours, sparked a social-media celebration across the country. Photos with rainbow hues took over news feeds, and maps that showed which states had legalized same-sex marriage—hint: the entire map was the same color—quickly became the top-running stories of the morning.

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But perhaps what traveled quicker than this celebration of love for all people were the network interns that ran back and forth between SCOTUS and their respective network broadcast positions at Press Row, who are posted outside awaiting the final decision to report on. An article from IJReview humorously outlines the “Running of the Interns” tradition, pointing out that the distance these young professionals run—literally, they are wearing running shoes with their work attire—is not short, near 1/10th of a mile. Plus, it’s the middle of June, so temperatures aren’t exactly forgiving in D.C.

Why the urgency? Recorders and reporters are not allowed inside the courtroom, so the eager interns wait patiently to receive the written final word to deliver on foot to their network. Supporters or protestors who are also outside the building waiting to hear the final verdict also cheer on the zealous individuals, who are, quite literally, delivering the news first-hand to their reporter.

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This raises the question—would the public be in the dark about this week’s huge news without runners?