It was less than a year ago, when I was a wide-eyed intern roaming the halls of WTKR News Channel 3 in Norfolk, Virginia. I held a notepad wherever I went and asked each person I encountered a million questions. I would scribble their answers down ferociously, afraid I’d miss a word. Might I add, I took such copious notes that I still refer to them to this day when I have questions.
That internship at the CBS affiliate was my third internship experience in television, but I still had so much left to learn. I recall as I held my pen poised to the notepad, so many channel 3 employees looking at me with amusement saying, “I feel like I’m being interviewed.” But that was exactly what was happening, I would ask them, “Are you happy with your job? What is your life like in this field?” I felt they owed it to me to be truthful with the realities before I entered this field after college. Even though each person would give me the typical warnings, “You will make pennies at your first job”, “You will work 10 hour days with no lunch break”, and “Get out now, while you still can!”
Nothing anybody could say outweighed the pro’s of being a journalist. Nearly 10 months after I hung up my intern badge, I still feel as passionate about journalism as I did then. Granted, the harsh warnings of this job that WTKR reporters,photographers, producers, and graphics personnel warned me about certainly panned out into reality…but I was still grateful I had the heads up about it. So if you want to be a tv reporter, definitely do a few internships at TV stations first, it could be a rude awakening or it could further your love for the field.
That’s why in January when we got our news intern from the University of Louisiana-Monroe I felt compelled to help her out. When it was her news rotation, I kept in mind everything I had learned in my internships and passed them onto her. I’m not sure if she left the internship deciding that a career as a reporter was for her, but I hope she took valuable knowledge from the experience.
At the end of my WTKR internship I brought in my own camera gear and made a video. I asked each employee from editors to photographers to reporters to tell me some advice for interns and this is what I got: