I’m officially five weeks into my internship, which marks the half way point.
I have already learned more working at a newspaper than I did in some classes (no offense to the classes, hands-on experience has forced me to learn and learn fast).
What have I learned in the first five weeks?
1.) Befriend the photographers – First of all, they’re brilliant. They are helpful in learning the area and they have even driven me around town so that I could cover a story. They will also given their honest opinion on co-workers, which is very refreshing.
2.) Take what editors say to the heart- Editors are tough and intimidating, but they just want to create the best stories possible and help people -i.e., me- improve).
3.) In addition to that, don’t take anything personally- Co-workers, editors and supervisors aren’t trying to attack me. If they correct a mistake or want me to change something, it’s because they want me to succeed-not because they are insulting me. Journalism has forced me to grow a thicker skin.
4.) AP Style is a journalist’s bible- When I took newspaper reporting at IU and was forced to buy the $75 Ap Style handbook, I was furious. Turns out, they are truly important. I look up something in the AP Style Handbook at least once a day, sometimes more.
5.) The public will complain – At this internship, my byline is Staff Writer and at the end of every article I write, my email address is listed. This means the public, anyone who reads my story, can email me. Boy, do they email me. In fact, today at 8 a.m. Someone from the public emailed me to complain about something I had written and at first I was upset, but then I just became annoyed. However, I’ve also received emails from people thanking me for taking the time to write a story, which honestly makes everything worth it.
6.) The public has an opinion about everything and they’ll tell you – I’ve received many phone calls from people with suggestions about how to make the paper “better” and stories that should be written. People call and want something printed immediately and if they don’t get it, they’re not happy. Alas, there is no way to please everyone.
7.) Co-workers make or break a job experience- I have lucked out with the group of people I work with. They are nice, considerate and curious about my life. They give me suggestions on places to visit and eat while I’m in the area. When I first started working, I was hesitant with the fact that not a lot of people my age work here. However, after a few weeks I found that age doesn’t affect how people treat me, and they treat me pretty great.
8.) Some people hate the media- It’s true. It makes interviewing people hard if they have a problem with the media, but for the most part everyone I’ve talked to has been nice. The worst I’ve experienced is someone walking away from me and someone rudely hanging up on me, which could have been worse.
I could probably go on with things that I’ve learned so far, but these are the main points. Things I’ve learned living in Hazleton will have to be another blog post another day. 🙂