Bethany (’17) is a journalism major in The Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications, with a minor in Asian American studies.
I was a news intern with News Carolina 14 (Time Warner Cable News in Raleigh) this summer. I know I want to work in the media industry eventually, so I thought it would be wise to pick up some broadcast news skills.
As a news intern, I rotated throughout different departments in the newsroom for the first few weeks. I sat with the assignment desk and learned how they sort through hundreds of pitches a day and assign the interesting ones to reporters. I learned how to edit VOs and VOSOTs (voiceovers and voiceover-to-sound segments) with the media management desk and watched them communicate with live trucks in the field. I wrote my first VO and VOSOT scripts with the producers and learned how to build a “wheel,” which determines the order the segments run in. I followed reporters and photographers to government meetings and live shots at 5 a.m. in the morning. I helped the web producers write up stories and post them to the website with video clips.
At first, I was intimidated by this internship because I had absolutely no broadcast experience prior to this summer. The technology was overwhelming and I constantly felt like I had no idea what I was doing or what everyone was talking about during meetings. I felt insecure about the scripts I wrote because they weren’t as “television friendly” as the ones the producers wrote. But after two months, I finally felt comfortable with the software used in the newsroom. I even knew most of the employees’ names. I had pushed myself out of my comfort zone — and it paid off.
Towards the end of the internship, my supervisor asked all the interns to come together and put together a newscast with no rehearsal beforehand. One intern was the anchor, another the reporter, and so on. I was the producer, so I came in early that morning to write scripts for the national stories I thought were interesting. I organized my “wheel” and communicated with the news director and the intern operating the soundboard in the production room, and even dealt with “breaking news” halfway through the newscast. Even though it was hectic and definitely challenging, I felt so proud at the end of it because I had just proved to myself that I can do broadcast news — something I had previously ruled out of my future possible careers.
Perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned from this internship is that internships are meant for students to try various careers and see what fits them the best. Just because you don’t think you’re going to excel in a certain field does not necessarily mean you should rule out all possibilities of an internship there. At the end of the day, we’re there to grow and no growth is possible without risks.