By Rebekah Sherry
In the middle of my Junior year one of my upperclassmen friends told me that I should take JRN 393. He had taken the class and was then interning at WSHU. I was curious about the opportunity, but as the semester got busy I forgot about it.
When it came time to make my senior year schedule I realized I still needed an EXP+ credit and I really didn’t want to commute back and forth from New York City to get. Ultimately that is the reason I took JRN 393, but I’m so glad I did. I’ve always loved podcasts and audio storytelling. I was on the broadcast track, so I was used to writing scripts, but even then, Terry’s KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) method of script writing felt impossible. How was I supposed to tell an entire story in 45 seconds? Print and even T.V. classes had encouraged me to explore details and use them to enrich my stories. But radio was another animal. Anything that was not 100% pertinent to the main issue had to go.
By the end of 393 I had a better grasp on script writing. And at the end of the semester, I got the WSHU internship. 393 definitely prepared me for WSHU, but what I thought was a lot of work to finish in a week had to be finished in a few hours at WSHU.
The first three or so weeks of the internship was all about learning. I had to learn how to isolate the most important points, how to write in a radio friendly way, how to use the recorder and mic and manage audio levels on the field, and perhaps most difficult was learning how to master my “popping p’s.”
As the weeks went on, everything got easier. And soon I was out covering press conferences by myself. I felt like a real local reporter surrounded by other local reporters. It was an awesome feeling.
The opportunities I got from working at WSHU were invaluable. Learning to work with editors and daily deadlines was a great learning experience. I got to hear myself on the radio, and even had an opportunity to file to WNYC. Because I was covering local news I felt in tune with what goes on everyday on the Island I’ve lived on for my whole life. I’ve met with people in local government I’d probably wouldn’t get a chance to see or talk to if it wasn’t for this internship.
I still have a lot to learn. I’m not nearly as fast as I could be at script writing, and I take almost 30 minutes to record a take of a 45 second script that I’m happy with. I also need to work on inflection, and making sure my stories are interesting. But, thanks to this internship I know what my strong points are and I know where I have to work harder. It was a learning experience I’m so glad I had.
I absolutely recommend this internship.