Jane hard at work at WSHU
By Jane Montalto
It is really crazy to me to think that my internship at WSHU Public Radio has already come to a close. I feel like things have definitely changed throughout the semester, and my days at WSHU began to feel like second nature.
Depending on the day, there were a multitude of possibilities as to what I could be assigned to do. The most standard assignment would be to be assigned a particular story that needs reporting. Then I would do some preliminary research and start reaching out to some sources to schedule short phone interviews. These phone interviews were a little nerve-wracking at the beginning of the semester, but I began to enjoy doing them as I became more comfortable and confident in my own abilities. The interviews would be recorded on Adobe Audition, and then I would compile all the information and audio clips into scripts to be aired on the station.
Some days I would get assigned what was called “Sound Bites,” which is an article that compiles many different stories into short, informative blurbs. I found these pretty fun to do. It also helped me get better at reading things quickly and being able to condense a lot of information into a few sentences.
One of my favorite things to do was covering press conferences. I’ve been to a few throughout the semester. It was actually what I did on my first day. Over the weeks, I went to multiple press conferences with WSHU managing editor J.D. Allen. This was crucial for me to get more familiar with the process of going to these press conferences.
After going to a few with J.D., I started getting sent out to more press conferences along with one of the other interns, Xenia Gonikberg. We picked out all the gear that we deemed necessary to cover the events, and I drove us out to the location. The first one we went to without J.D. was an announcement about offshore wind farming. The press conference itself was at Smith Point County Park. I remember feeling so nervous about it, but Xenia and I were successful and were able to get everything we needed to cover the event.
The final one we went to was for an announcement of a grant to be used to expand sewers in Patchogue. That one I felt the most confident at, as at that point it was probably the fifth event I had attended within the semester. It was so funny to start recognizing some familiar faces at the events. It was a nice event to end off on as it was such a beautiful day.
Another huge aspect of the internship was learning how to record my own voice. We would record either “wraps” or “voicers.” A wrap is a recording that includes an audio clip from an outside source. A voicer has no outside source quote, it is solely just reading the story. Now this is getting a little personal, but I had a lot of nerves going into this part of the internship. I feel very insecure about how I speak. This is because I grew up with a pretty intense speech impediment — one that was so incomprehensible that I actually was mute for a period of time as a child. I went through a lot of speech therapy when I was younger, but I still get worried if I am able to effectively annunciate and properly communicate what I say. I do feel like I struggled a bit at the start of my time recording my voicers and wraps. Throughout the span of my internship, I received some good tips that did help me start to feel better about how I sounded. One of the best tips I got was from Terry Sheridan, who told me to push more from my chest when I spoke. That tip helped me a lot with my presence in front of the mic. I also started to learn to slow down more as I spoke because it made my voice much clearer and more confident. Doing that also made it easier for me to edit my audio in Audition.
Overall, I am really proud of my work at WSHU this semester. I was so nervous going into it since I really didn’t know what to expect. I also got to learn a lot about so many different topics. Although WSHU is primarily more short form news, I am happy I still got the opportunity to write longer feature pieces. I am very appreciative of my time and how many different things I was able to do.