Note: this is my final report, required by school to complete my internship. I’ve omitted the more critical sections because it’s no one’s business to hear me whine. Instead, you get the full rock star, positive version. You’re welcome.
While initially I was apprehensive about the internship at CTV, I am incredibly glad that is where I did my first placement. I was worried about the workload, the responsibility and pressure of being the weekend reporter, and the overall skills required to be a videojournalist. While everything was as I expected it to be, from the responsibilities to the workload, I believe I met all the challenges head on.
The first week or so, I shadowed fellow reporters and camera operators. I completed my first pack on my third day, trying to live up to Tonaya’s pack on day two. I went solo after probably a week and a half and was working weekends within the month. I haven’t looked back.
Being a videojournalist is no easy feat. I vividly remember my first day flying solo as a VJ: everyone was staring at me as I struggled; lugging the equipment and setting up my tripod for the scrum. Thankfully, the other journalists understood my struggle. Raquel Fletcher held my microphone for me, while her shooter, Jason, saw that the scrum held off a few extra moments, allowing me more time to set up properly. Afterwards, Kent Morrison and Raquel offered me words of encouragement. They’d been there. They understood what I was going through. It would get better – I would get better. By the time I left, I was too exhausted to cry, although I felt like it. The pack turned out okay.
It’s been just over a week, but CTV took away my training wheels and sent me out to VJ on my own. It was a bit overwhelming, but big shout-out to the media vets at the other outlets who were patient and helpful while I struggled a bit today.
On a more positive note, I just finished an interesting story on an advancement in blood testing that was made right here in Regina. Find out tonight on CTV!
– my Facebook status from my first day as a VJ!
Thankfully, Raquel and Kent were right. Things got better, and I improved drastically. I learned the majority of VJ lessons the hard way, figuring things out on the fly. That’s the thing about being a videojournalist – it’s really just you out in the world. You just have to get the story done. And I did. Most days, I didn’t have time to dwell on what a rookie I was and what I wasn’t very good at, especially on the weekends, when I had a full story, and then some, to file. I was busy, but busy is good. Idle hands, and all that, as the expression goes.
Weekends were often my favourite to work. It meant I got to experience people, places, and things I might not otherwise have done. Weekends brought me to the Claybank brick plant, the Montmarte Folk Fest, and a Lego expo in Moose Jaw. I met a two-pawed dog, a blind golfer, and a 101-year-old yacht club member. I got to tour around Wascana Lake on a boat, take in a wedding at Craven, and shoot paintball in the woods. While many groan at the thought of working weekends, more days than not, I loved it and took full advantage of as many opportunities as I could.
In the end, the short training period and a busy summer meant I had to become very independent, very quickly. I never felt completely abandoned; I always had support from the team, but I knew I had to make it on my own and I am so, so glad I did. Ask Robin and Trevor (my intro to broadcast teachers) about my first television news story and how brutal it was. If we had awards, Julia (CBC rock star) and I would have been voted Most Improved Players. During first semester, I never could have imagined myself as the weekend reporter, weekend assignment editor, and videojournalist rock star (my preferred title) I am today. While I have so much more to learn, I am very proud of myself. I am often my harshest critic, but I feel like I have grown eons. This internship reaffirmed for me that journalism is what I want to do, and not only that, but I will be a damn good journalist. This is just the start for me.