By Sydney Corwin
This semester I was a news intern with WSHU Public Radio. WSHU is based in Connecticut, but it has a Long Island Bureau with its office in the library. They have an internship program for Stony Brook students, which I learned about at the School of Communication and Journalism’s spring internship fair last semester.
I was so excited at the beginning of the summer when I found out that I got the internship for the fall. I decided to pursue only a 1-credit internship because I was taking 15 credits in addition to the internship, and I also have a job on campus. I wanted to make sure that I had enough time for all of my work and other involvements, and that I wouldn’t feel too overwhelmed. I went to the WSHU office every Monday for a 5-hour shift. I liked having a specific time for my internship so that I did not have to worry about completing the work throughout the week on my own time.
Each day I went into the internship my supervisor, J.D. Allen gave me a story to work on for the day. The stories were about some news topics related to Long Island, New York or Connecticut. I would write a web copy to be published on the website and write a script to be broadcast on the afternoon radio news show “All Things Considered.” These would either be a reader, which is a script that the host reads, a cut & copy, which the host reads and also has and audio clip from someone else in it, a voicer, which the host reads an introduction for and I record myself reading the story, or a wrap, which is a voicer with additional audio from someone else in it. I edited all of the audio clips for my stories myself in Adobe Audition. I’ve had 10 articles that I worked on published on WSHU’s website, multiple readers and cut and copies read on the air and I recorded five voicers.
There are so many things that I learned from this internship. The biggest thing I learned is time management and working on a deadline.
All of my stories needed to be finished by the end of my shift. This was sometimes challenging because some stories were more complicated than others, or I would have to redo things multiple times. But that taught me how rewarding it is once a story is done. I had already used Adobe Audition in a previous class, but I learned a lot more about how to edit audio with it. I also learned how to record audio from phone calls and videos online to use for stories.
I learned a lot about writing news stories to be concise while still getting all the important points across. I also learned more about Long Island itself. I’m not from Long Island so I’m not very familiar with the local government or any of the towns, but through my research for different stories, I learned a lot more about it and I feel better informed about the area. Lastly, I learned about how a real news outlet functions on a day-to-day basis, which is definitely helpful for when I go into the workforce.
One thing that I wish I’d known at the start of the internship was just more about radio in general. Before this semester, I didn’t know much about radio. This made me nervous going into the internship because I felt unprepared. But luckily my supervisor was very helpful, and I picked up on everything quickly.
To any SOCJ student considering this internship in the future, I would say definitely do it! It’s an amazing opportunity that is really convenient for students because it’s in person but you don’t have to leave campus to do it. You learn from great supervisors and get to work with other students who you may already know. And it will make you a lot more confident in your own abilities as a journalist. Also, don’t let a lack of radio experience deter you from the internship.
Last semester I almost didn’t talk to WSHU at the internship fair because I had never done anything related to radio and I wasn’t sure it was even something I would be interested in doing. But I took a chance and ended up getting the internship, and I was able to learn more about radio. And since you write web copies, you aren’t just working with audio or writing scripts. Overall, my internship with WSHU Public Radio has been very positive and I gained a lot of knowledge and experience that I can apply in my future journalistic endeavors.