As I near the end of my internship at KIRO, I'd like to reflect now not only on what I've learned, but the process I went through gaining that knowledge and putting it into practice. Most of what I've been doing the last month of my internship is refining my very first "news resume reel."
Since I first started doing stand-ups, I was so focused on memorizing my scripts that I often forgot the purpose of the stand-up was to make a connection with the audience. Wanting to memorize every single word resulted in me stumbling over the rest of the sentence and having to do take after take just to get it "right."
Then, reporters told me that while it's good to prepare a script beforehand, it's more useful to take in your surroundings and use the resources available to you in that moment to talk about in your stand-up.
Patranya and I sometimes laugh at how most of the stories I've covered during the first half of my internship were house/apartment fires. I did not show all of that in my final news reel. I sought to make all the stories included in my reel as different from each other as possible.
What ended up working in my favor was the rally and counter-protest that happened at Westlake Park on my day off. By then, my reel was already composed of three packages (a house fire, a man who was exonerated after being falsely accused of rape, and a vet's home being rebuilt by volunteers).
I took this opportunity to shoot a stand-up and stay around the rally to come up with a package idea. Using footage shot by the photogs for Joanna Small and Deborah Horne's coverage of the rally, I edited a package about the rally and replaced the exoneration story in my reel. Why did I do this, despite the fact that the footage in the rally package was not as clean and HD as the exoneration package?
The answer: because it impacted me more on an emotional level, and I think it would impact my audience more as well.
That's what I learned during this internship that I think I improved on since I first started. Thinking about what the viewer wants and how they might be able to relate to the story, especially something that's been going on for a very long time.
Looking back, would I have done anything differently? I don't think so. Mistakes are meant to be learned from so that you can do better moving forward. I've made a lot of mistakes along the way, but I don't consider any of them failures. I don't think I've failed to do anything and I did my best to gain the most out of this internship.
Out of the four internships I've done since my first year of college, my internship at KIRO was the most intense and also where I've gained the most knowledge applicable to a future career in broadcast journalism. I can't express through words just how much I appreciated everything I've gained through this internship, and the many mentors and connections I've made along the way.
Yes, waking up at 2 a.m. (and 6 a.m. on the weekends) was hard physically some days. But I honestly never dread going to work. It was the excitement to learn something new and knowing that every day was a fresh new start that really woke me up in the mornings.