Summer 2018: Jayla Jackson

Editor’s note: This essay is part of an occasional series presenting the reflections of Chipsters as they complete their CQS internships.

Three tips for surviving a journalism internship
by Jayla Jackson

An internship can be an exciting time in life, yet it can also be nerve-wracking. It may mean being hours away from home, having trouble finding stories, or not being on the best terms with a supervisor. As you try to make the most of the opportunity, it may help to remember that the newsroom is ever-changing, just as the people you meet on the job change every day. Remember, too, that hard work pays off.

Here are three ways to enhance your internship experience. Follow them, and the sky is the limit.

Advocate for yourself
It’s easy to remind yourself that you’re the rookie in the newsroom, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do things like respectfully advocate for a story idea you like. If a story interests you and it seems fitting for publication, run it by another reporter or your supervisor. Never take “no” for an answer unless you’re needed for a breaking story or the editor still hasn’t signed on to the story after you’ve given it your all. Remember, the work you produce is something you’ll be showing future employers so it’s advantageous to have a balance of what you produced from the ground up along with pieces that were assigned to you.

Never ignore an issue between you and another co-worker
Considering that you’ll be in close quarters with the rest of the news team, it’s always wise to effectively communicate during the good, bad and ugly. It may sound cliché, but treat others the way you want to be treated. If an issue arises between you and another employee, address it first with the person and try to resolve it. If the problem continues, it would be wise to mention it to your supervisor and go from there.

Jayla Jackson reports on Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection training center in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, in March.

Enjoy the view
Don’t forget to have fun. Being a journalist is a lot of work, and it’s OK to breathe every once in a while. Take pictures, pat yourself on the back and live to tell all the stories you’ve created.

Jayla Jackson (Summer 2018) is a multimedia reporter for WDVM-TV in Hagerstown, Maryland. Her CQS internship newspaper was the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, New York.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *