Working as a News Department Intern at the ABC Local Affiliate in South Florida, WPLG Local 10, this past month has been anything but predictable. As a part of Wolv-TV, I knew coming into the job that working in the news industry required a fast-paced mentality and a high tolerance for stress, but what I had yet to realize were how many different facets contribute to one single story, and just how quickly work is expected to be done. On television, the presentation of news often seems relaxed and concise, but this façade is impressively constructed by a team of reporters and dedicated newsroom staff that work to “make it happen.”
Working at WPLG Local 10 has been an incredible experience. Everyone at the station has been very generous and more than willing to teach me more about his or her area of expertise. Working both the day and nightside news has led me to learn something different about the job each day, and I can confidently say the influx of knowledge will not stop here.
In the future, I aspire to work as a television news broadcaster, so what better way to learn than shadow reporters? My first Monday as an intern, I entered the Local 10 facilities excited to soak in as much information as possible. I flashed my intern badge at the security desk, nervously walked into the newsroom, sat in on the daily 9 a.m. editorial meeting, took a quick picture with Mike Tyson (yes…the boxing great, Mike Tyson) who was in town promoting an event, and shadowed a reporter in downtown Miami for the remainder of the day. We covered a story on Miami Heat ticket sales during the NBA finals, where the reporter entrusted me to conduct my own interviews holding the Local 10 microphone. My right hand even got its five seconds of fame later that night on the 6 o’clock news!
Since that first day, I have taken full advantage of all the opportunities I have been presented with. How could I not? I have interviewed people (and animals) on a wide range of topics: from a cheering bird, to Miami Dolphins football players, to Florida Congressmen on the pressing situation in Iraq. With constructive criticism and guidance from reporters and videographers, my knowledge base has widened tremendously and I could not be more grateful to them.
Reporters are not the sole backbone of a news broadcast, though. I have learned there is a lot going on behind the scenes as well–from producing, to editing, to writing, and much more. In the newsroom, I have written editorial pieces for the web, as well as scripts for anchors. In live trucks and editing bays, I have learned how to cut and edit footage used for broadcasts. I believe you can never know or learn too much, and that is precisely why I intend to maximize my time as an intern at WPLG this summer. When opportunity presents itself, be prepared to seize it!