Monday, 7 January 2013

Work placement worked out

I had had my doubts about interning at a TV news station, but it all worked out in the end.

Working at CBC News Winnipeg was my first official internship. I've said before that all I wanted to do was write in a print journalism career, and honestly, I still do. But this experience taught me to stop living my life through tunnel vision and to be open to new things.

One of the things I need to do to succeed in this field is to stop doubting myself. Every time I have to do something different or out of my comfort zone, my initial thought is always, "but what if I'm not good enough?" as opposed to, "this is another opportunity for me to expand my skill set and learn something new." I'm trying my hardest this semester to think of the latter.

During the first week of my internship, I was of course shadowing reporters as most new interns do. That week, the opening of IKEA was a huge story. I had spent a lot of that week within that part of the city. I watched Marjorie Dowhows interview a self-proclaimed IKEA enthusiast in her home. I stood outside in the cold as Ryan Hicks performed a live hit at 6:00 p.m. the night before the furniture warehouse opened. It really showed me the importance of informing the audience of updates on and continuations of stories. The IKEA story led to the discussion of Kenaston traffic which led to the Kapyong Barracks story. It was interesting to see how it was all connected.

The IKEA media party was an exciting event to hear about. Even before it started, the CBC staff had discussed how they weren't allowed to participate because they abided by strict rules to not accept gifts of any kind as to not compromise objectivity. I'm very lucky to have witnessed the controversy; it was an excellent reminder of how to behave while on the job. When I went to a fossil centre in Morden, I was too scared to even take a piece of cake.

During my second and third weeks at CBC, my workload picked up. I was trained by Robert Miyai to use the video editing and script writing software (which were way easier than Final Cut Pro, by the way). I accompanied cameramen to press conferences and community events to film and write 30-second voiceover clips. It was nerve-racking at first, but by my third week, I got the hang of it, going on two or three shoots a day. Before that would have sent me in panic spirals, but one of my favourite mentors there told me that no one wants to work with someone like that. Also very good advice.

My last day of the internship was also the most eventful. In addition to finally being able to write and edit a full story (that wasn't allowed to air, but that's okay) as well as filming a stand-up, my - and every other second-year CreComm student's - last day was also the day of the Connecticut school shooting.

I had never been so confused and scared and . . . energized . . . at the same time. Something big just happened and I wanted to be a part of it. The newsroom was abuzz with purpose; everyone had something to do but me. It was 5:00 p.m. but I wanted to stay and see what was going to unfold. I waited an hour in case they needed me for anything but they didn't. I went home with many questions.

But . . . I also went home with a portfolio piece. See, it all worked out.

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