In college I completed two internships in TV news. Since then I have been in the news business for five years now. If you are still in college and ready to intern at a TV news station, here are a couple of pointers you should keep in mind if you plan to go the reporting route.
- Go on LinkedIn and find the description of an entry-level reporter’s job description. Make a list of the requirements and make it a goal to check everything in the description. From that list make sure you not only shadow the reporters but also spend a day with the digital team and ask them how they post and how they find the stories they chose to write for the website.
2. When you are out on the field with a reporter or photog always take notes. You should come back and write a VO/SOT and ask someone in the newsroom to give you feedback.
3. Pitch unique story ideas in the editorial meeting. Check to see what your school is doing for certain events. My alma mater always brings cool speakers. I’m not in college but I’m always looking to see what unique things they are doing in different departments.
4. Offer to write the web scripts for the reporter. You’re not writing anything from scratch but it gives you the experience on how to write a catchy headline and cut packages that air on the newscast. Not only will the reporter appreciate this but the digital team will love you! You are essentially getting practice to catch mistakes and gets you in the habit of turning your TV story into web format.
5. Write and edit your own packages from the reporter’s footage. Ask for feedback and compare it to what they did. In the beginning, we tend to bury the lead. This will help you think about the meat of the story.