Tag Archives: Journalism

Week Five: From Complaints to Thanksgiving in June

I am aware that I am writing this post in the early stages of Week Six–my last week of interning at the newsroom.  But I will try to keep the contents of this post relevent to Week Five and not Week Six.  Forgive me for any inconsistencies in verb tenses. 

A fourth intern has arrived and we have not communicated since she’s been here.  Intern # 3 and I have only greeted each other casually and have exchanged no words other than hello.

Week Five was a tiring, emotionally stressful, and bleak week.  I’m beginning to question if I can do this.

I woke up Monday morning and I could not muster up the strength to come to work.  I felt sick and weak.  I decided to stay home. 

I discovered a new show towards the end of Week Four: Lost.  And I feel lost.  What am I doing in a newsroom?  Why am I deciding to work more than the required 120 hours when everyday I feel like I have to drag myself from bed.

It didn’t help my motivation when I arrived at work one day asking for something to write and I was given a story that was literally picked up from the garbage can.  The story was about a  mascot for the rescue squad of a local town.  My pride was hurt when I thought that the only story the editor found me worthy to write about that day was one that was thrown in and rescued from the trash.  What has happened to my other stories?  No one gave me any word on them.  Did the editors think the stories were poorly written?  Did they think that I’m a bad writer?  If so what don’t they tell me?  I’m strong enough to hear that I’m a bad writer and wise enough to work towards improving my writing.

During Week Five, my spirit was crushed.  My energy was depleted.  Through all of that, I stumbled upon another blog that brought up the issue of struggling to be grateful for being given the opportunity to intern, while feeling ungrateful for some of the task one performs.

Amid all of my complaints, I choose to be grateful.  Something happened that helped steer me in this direction.  I approached “The Editor” and asked if I could interview him about journalism and his job as a journalist as part of my assignment and grade for the internship.  He agreed and we talked.

although he was cynical about generation Y, and  in my opinion, he did not recognize some valuable contributions some people of our generation have made to the world (Google, for example), I thought he made some good points about the decadence of print journalism as a result of the success of the World Wide Web.

He also said several things that were very poignant and I took to heart.  One thing he talked about was how he takes great pride in teaching people who are eager to learn from him.  He said that he was very disappointed from the interns he had this year because all he got from them was a bunch of complaints and eye rolling, and even more disappointing was that we wanted to do things very well when he only wanted to teach us what he has learned from years as a journalists.

I was hurt by that because I wanted nothing more than to learn from someone like him, and in my opinion, all the other intern and I wanted to do was to learn journalism in a more practical way and to produce work in the newspaper so that we had something to show our professors.

But I took all that he said in and I apologized to him in an email and admitted that he was right, and I’m changing my perspective.  I’m thankful that I even got an internship, and I’m thankful that I got to work with a nice group of people, and I’m also thankful that I got the opportunity to meet all the editors–that I got to learn a lot from “The Editor.” 

I know that by Week Six, my last week, I would have an even more positive outlook on things.  I know this because I can read into the future.  Not exactly, Week Six is already over and I’m unscathed.

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