I interned at the Ohio Newspaper Association over the summer. I worked with members of ONA to write stories for the biweekly Bulletin issued to all members. The stories in the Bulletin are all industry-related or deal with newspapers in some way.
Along with writing stories, I did multimedia interviews (audio and video), edited them and published them to the ONA website and social media feeds. We also started a video training series that is “members teaching members.” I helped our company obtain the proper equipment, recorded, edited and published the first couple training videos.
I learned far too many things during my internship to put down on paper. Probably the biggest thing I learned was persistence. Working for the campus paper gives reporters a slight advantage, mainly because on-campus sources are usually pretty easy to track down and interview.
However, when you’re dealing with busy professionals living on the other side of the state, it’s a pain. Persistence is key. Emailing and calling them three, four, even five times a day usually does the trick. Also, Twitter is sometimes an even easier way to get a hold of busy reporters and editors.
My experience at ONA was really unique. Usually journalism students get internships at a newspaper or radio/TV stations and just do the basics. I, on the other hand, had the opportunity to learn the ins-and-outs of the industry from professionals. I was constantly staying updated on news that affected the way the industry operates as well as the legislation that may or may not impact the industry. The focus was different, but I was able to utilize my journalism skills and get real world experience.