No need for makeup. Just a notebook, pencil and a little audio recorder. So this is what it feels like to work in print journalism. I can dig it.
As a broadcast journalism student at Ohio University, my print experience was minimal before arriving in Washington for the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire internship.
Previously, my articles were typically online pieces meant to accompany my television news packages. The quotes I used were transcribed soundbites and the photos tended to be screenshots from video.
Here at the wire, it’s all about multimedia, and the print stories we post online usually drive the visual elements of the pieces. So, in an effort to step out of my comfort zone, I have been immersing myself, writing down quotes as quickly as possible (my handwriting is so bad it looks like my own form of shorthand – it’s not), snapping still photos in addition to video and reviewing the AP style rules I may or may not have been neglecting since I finished that newswriting class sophomore year.
While these logistical changes took a week – or two – or three to adjust to, I love the challenge. Multi-media reporting skills are essential for journalists to get hired nowadays. As exhausting as it is, tweeting, shooting, writing and photographing for one story is a dream come true for a control-freak like me.
I have to say, writing for print and online has its benefits.
On the days when I don’t shoot any video, my back is relieved at not having to carry a giant tripod and heavy video camera everywhere in 90 degree weather.
I’ve also grown more alert. Having already had one audio recorder fail me, I can tell you it’s true what they tell you in journalism school – DO NOT RELY COMPLETELY ON YOUR RECORDER. Heck, at the Supreme Court, where no electronics are allowed, I relied totally on my notes.
The amount of enjoyment I’ve had so far at this internship is consoling, because it confirms that my love for reporting transcends platforms. Whether I’m working on a print, photo or video-driven piece, I feel equally happy just to be riding the coattails of history.
Don’t get me wrong. I am still a video nerd at heart. However, with all the talk about the changing landscape of the media world, I grow concerned at times that TV news will be ancient history by the time I’m experienced enough to host NBC’s “Nightly News,” “60 Minutes” on CBS or my own talk show (go big or go home). But whether traditional journalism mediums dry out, it’s the passion for writing, rush of a deadline and breaking news that makes crazies like me aspire to be reporters no matter what.
Here’s to the future!