Talk about thrown in the deep end! I have just completed my first week of internship at the Gold Coast Bulletin and it has certainly been busy. I have been the week’s ‘Voxie’ girl, approaching people about all sorts of things from Christmas lights, to being labelled a bogan by the local MP. I have been out interviewing life guards, nipper program coordinators, indigenous scholarship holders, animal welfare league employees and more. I attended council meetings, watched feature writing first hand, rubbed shoulders with other media outlets, watched the relationship building that goes on between journalists and key people. I got told to ‘get lost’ and also that I had a ‘lovely interview manner’ in the same hour. My major task was finding the school holiday activities and writing a story to go with one of them meaning lots and lots of phone calls and emails. My favourite moment was arriving at Mermaid beach in heels and with a notebook, ready to interview families and coaches about the nippers program. Heels were soon flicked and a hat would have been handy as I spent the rest of the day quite sunburnt! Story made the weekend with a byline though so worth the effort.
The newsroom was incredibly busy and I could feel the pressure constantly. I learned very quickly about deadlines and prioritising and found all the practise from Jschool came in very handy as there was no task too large or small. I witnessed some very exciting scoops (only sorry they weren’t mine) and really enjoyed the banter of the newsroom, the pressure, the constant phone calls, scanner constantly crackling through police, fire and ambulance talk, interview requests, excitement with success, then disappointment when other things fell through. The other cadets were very helpful, although constantly busy. I don’t recall seeing anyone on a lunch break!
I am thankful for the opportunity and also very happy with the study I did this year. My advice to anyone going on an internship is to have lots and lots of story ideas. Even have a few partially written stories. I do also suggest that you request early on that you can go with other journalists to key places such as council and court. Don’t wait until the last minute as the days go very quickly and there’s often no time. I was happy I tagged with other journalists early on as it wasn’t possible later on and different shifts and their rostered days off meant they weren’t always around.