May 24, 2006

Randy the Reporter

For the duration of the summer, I am working with the Longview News-Journal as an intern reporter. Tomorrow marks the completion of my first week of work. I am loving it.

I walked into the newsroom a few minutes before nine in the morning on my first day of work. The city editor gives me a tour of the newsroom, which takes about five minutes at most. He takes me to a computer and tells me that I will not have a permanent desk because I am an intern. In essence, I will be moving desks every time a regular employee needs his or her desk back. I have used five different desks thus far. Occasionally, I use more than one a day.

After briefly explaining the computer system (I have never used a Mac before), he decides that I should not spend my first morning sitting around looking bored while waiting for the managing editor to give me a more formal introduction to the newspaper. He assigns me a story. In twenty minutes, I have to be at the Longview Public Library. I go, get the story, and come back. By this time, the managing editor has arrived. I spend the rest of the day either writing my first story or having certain things about the newspaper and their procedures explained to me.

The next day I am assigned another story. For this one, I need to call various people involved in city government and ask them questions about National Hurricane Week. Once again, I get the story and try to write it while also being introduced to various people and departments. The city editor also explains to me the Saturday schedule rotation. Essentially, I will occasionally have a Monday off, but I will have to work the following Saturday. My turn through the rotation is this week, of course.

The weekend rolled by too quickly, naturally. It always does. Anyway, I am assigned two stories on Tuesday. For the first one, I must drive to another town. For the second one, I must walk two blocks. As I finish these stories, I discover that I have five stories assigned to me already that I must finish before next Wednesday.

Today, I completed one of these stories as well as interviewed a man for another one. Additionally, I was given another story this morning which I had to complete for tomorrow's paper. Today was the first day where I felt I might not have enough time to finish everything I was assigned.

What I find strange is that I do not find this to be stressful and I am not feeling overburdened. Instead, I'm finding it exhilerating. I'm finally learning what is required of an actual journalist. Like I said earlier, I'm loving it.

Posted by Randy at May 24, 2006 10:14 PM | TrackBack