Too much time has passed since my last post here, so I figured I’d drop in and update you all on what I’ve been doing and how I’m feeling.
Right now, I’m doing a lot. I’m tired all the time, but it’s so worth it.
I check the Hampton Roads Show segments prior to publication on the site, making sure everything is written correctly, the links work, and each post has an image and video inserted. My previous experience with WordPress has been beneficial because I pretty much know how everything works, so I’m glad I started both my portfolio and my blog when I did.
I also write a blog every week about what I’ve done on the job, how I like it, my experiences, etc. I’ve started this thing called “Wave of the week,” where I take a piece of advice that my supervisor or someone else has given me and talk about how it has been useful recently.
After just three weeks as an intern here, I’ve already come to a realization, but in typical Saleen fashion, I’m going to make you read a bit more before getting to that point.
Bear with me, folks.
What I thought I wanted to do
When I decided to study journalism, I saw myself sitting at the computer all day, researching, and organizing. I saw myself writing whatever the day sent my way and loving it.
It seemed like the perfect job for me because (a) I’m always on the computer and (b) interacting with people online and helping them in any way that I can is something I genuinely enjoy doing.
In fact, I’m pretty sure I was addicted to Whisper for a good year or so. For those of you who don’t know, Whisper is an app that allows you to get secrets off your chest anonymously. You can chat with people too, and now they have groups you can create or join.
There are a lot of hurt people on Whisper with stories to tell and no one to listen. When I was hurting and couldn’t deal with my own pain, I tried to escape it by helping someone work through theirs. I listened. I gave advice when asked, and I made wonderful friends.
At my internship, I get to talk to people online and write stories based on some pretty cool news releases. However, I don’t talk to the people I’m writing about. Sitting behind a desk has made me miss connecting with people on a deeper level.
Last semester, I met a lot of people and talked about some pretty heavy stuff. I miss that. I miss interviewing people, and I miss having that face-to-face interaction with the people I write about.
What I want to do
I want to connect with people, which is hard to do in the digital world.
This leads me to my realization…
I think I want to be a reporter or a producer.
I’m not sure if that means being on air or behind the scenes. I’m still trying to figure that out, but I am so grateful to have this internship with WAVY because I get to see firsthand what a typical day is like for each of those positions. Also, my supervisor is going to see if I can shadow someone from a different department tomorrow, so I am looking forward to that.
When I first found out that I got the internship, Professor Thomas told me that I could either (a) decide I want to go into television, or (b) hate it. Either way, she said, it’ll be a good experience.
She was right. I love my internship, and I definitely see myself working in TV.
I love being part of a team that works so closely together. I love going to the morning meetings and hearing what everyone has planned for the day, then seeing it all pan out in the afternoon and evening broadcasts. I love helping my supervisor and the other digital producers and interacting with WAVY viewers on the web.
Still, I think I have the ability to connect with those I encounter on a much deeper level than most, and I don’t want that to go to waste.
I want to use that sense of empathy and my passion for writing to tell important, meaningful stories.
And yes, I know that things don’t always work out like we planned. That’s why I’m writing this blog in the first place. I don’t think the digital side of the newsroom is going to be the last place I end up.
I am aware that I could read this post in a year or so and laugh because I ended up doing neither of these things.
All I know is that there are so many characters out there whose stories have yet to be told, and whether I end up as a reporter or an investigative producer, my experience here at WAVY will be instrumental in getting me there.