Over the course of the semester, I have learned a lot about being a reporter, but I also learned a lot about myself. These last fifteen weeks let me experience at first hand what being a reporter is like, and how it will be in the real world. At HOMTV I was a multimedia journalist, doing everything from shooting, editing, reporting, and producing all my own work. Going into this internship, I expected a lot out of myself, and finishing up the semester, I can say I am very proud of my accomplishments and goals I set for myself.
During my time at HOMTV I wanted to obtain a positive on-air presence. I wanted to link with viewers, and make that community connection that journalists are known for. One of the most important parts of a reporter’s job it to be trusted by the public. Overall, I wanted Meridian Township to enjoy my work by letting me inform them successfully. Overall, I felt like I succeeded in many ways. I didn’t necessarily create a “fan base,” but I felt accomplished in my story telling abilities. When I started this internship, I told myself I wanted to get as much experience as I can, and become a better storyteller. Working on over 30 stories this semester, I feel confident that my storytelling progressed a lot. I learned different techniques that I feel will help me in my future career.
There were a lot of ups and downs during my internship, especially the time commitment. It was definitely hard to juggle a job, being a full time student, and being a reporter. Although it helped my time management skills, it was very stressful. Apart from that downfall, my favorite thing about my internship was the great friendships I’ve made, along with the experience I got writing, editing, reporting, and producing all of my own content. My co-interns became family to me. We spent many hours at the station together, and they became my main friend group. Eventually we started hanging out more, and becoming best friends. We were all in the internship together, and our schedules were similar, so it worked out well. The staff at HOMTV was also very caring. I appreciated their patience with all of us interns learning. They were also very understanding, so it made the internship more enjoyable. Most of the staff interned for HOMTV in the past, so they knew what it was like, which was nice to be able to relate to them in that aspect and have the guidance of their experience.
I honestly had no idea what to expect going into this internship. I’ve heard good and bad about it, so I was very nervous to start off. I guess I really couldn’t take anyone’s advice about the program, because everyone had a different position, and had lighter or heavier loads of schoolwork. So I knew I had to experience it myself before I made an assumption. What surprised me the most about my learning was finding different ways to report that worked better for my style. It was interesting, and awesome to see other intern’s work so I could compare theirs to mine, and obtain skills that they use. Each reporter had a very different and unique way of reporting, so being able to watch his or her work, helped my work a lot for future stories. When it came to my learning during the semester, I was most surprised by the way I picked up shooting and editing so fast. I was kind of thrown into it very quickly, so I really had no time to sit around and learn it. Its just one of those things where when you need to get something done because of a deadline, you must figure out the technology as fast as possible. I thought I did exceptionally well when trying to put together a news package, when I had no pervious experience with the editing systems. That really surprised me, but it made me good at it.
This semester alone has made me grow in several ways, but mostly just as myself. I really learned how to balance time, and to prioritize my work and social life. It’s honestly a great skill to have now looking back, because after doing it this semester, I feel like I am prepared for anything, especially the real world. Its crazy to think that next May I will be out of school, and into the professional world, and I truly believe I am ready for that since in interned at HOMTV. HOMTV has taught me how to deal with the public as well. I am always in the field interviewing and talking to the community, which is a great skill I learned over the course of these past 15 weeks. Professionally I grew as a better multi-media journalist. I found information, gathered it up, cut it down to 1 minute and 30 seconds, and told my story to the community. I finally got out of my safety box, and grew into a more confident young man. I was always so nervous to go out and talk to random people, but this semester helped me face my fear. I am now willing to go anywhere for a good story. It took time, but its something not everyone can do, so I am happy that I am finally able to get right to my sources. Another great skill I learned professionally is networking with professionals in my field. Being a reporter, constant communication with other reporters is very important. Also, when you’re on a story chances are the local news stations will be there as well. I learned to share video with them, and get help and advice when needed. It helps a lot if you’re an outgoing person, because everything seems to be easier that way.
Being a reporter for HOMTV has taught me so much about being a multimedia journalist, as well as opened several doors for my future career. Most of the reporters for HOMTV are seniors like I am, so come May we’re all about to go into the professional world together. That is going to be a huge connection for me, because we can all help each other out. In one of my journalism classes we were taught to never burn bridges with co-interns or past employers, because one day in this career, we will cross paths again. I know that the interns at HOMTV will stick together, and we will help each other out in the future. Also, there is a plethora of intern alumni from HOMTV who work for major broadcasting corporations, and large markets like Detroit. That is a great connection to have when I say I am a past HOMTV intern, as well as a Spartan. In this business it is more about the people who know, not what you know. Being apart of the HOMTV alumni, my bosses know a ton of people who came though the internship program at HOMTV, and many who they are still in contact with. I know that if I ever needed anything, or wanted to find a job, they would connect me with some great professionals in my field.
Hence, my time at HOMTV has taught me so much about reporting, journalism, production, camera operation, audio, studio work, and professionalism in the workplace. I got hands on experience doing all of that, which is great to know for my future career. It’s important that I am well rounded in a newsroom setting, because nowadays I am more marketable if I can do several jobs. I really got to hone my skills on camera work too, which takes a long time to learn. I got to experience with different techniques that will also make me more marketable in this field. Having this internship also gave me a lot of content for my résumé reel. As a journalist when applying for jobs, we have to submit a résumé reel to showcase our best storytelling abilities. It shows the News Director what we are capable of, and our on air presence. It also shows the director how we package a story together, and if we get the point across within a certain amount of time. News Directors also like to see a variety of stories, and at HOMTV each week I got to do a unique story that will be great on my résumé reel. I see this internship helping me in the future in a lot ways, especially with my reporting skills. It will also show employers that I am very serious about my profession, and that I worked really hard during college to obtain professional content for my career. Just in general having an internship during your college career proves to employers that you really care about what you want to do with your degree. Over all, I had an amazing experience and I am glad I dedicated this semester to learning the ins and outs of local news, and I cant wait to see what doors open up for me.