Saturday, April 18, 2009

Can I be an intern forever?

When I got an email offering me an internship position with The Newsly Newswire last January, I freaked out a little bit. 

The newswire (which I'm not naming in case my editor has a Google alert set up for it - not that I'm saying anything bad about it, I just figure he doesn't need it delivered to his inbox as soon as I hit "publish") is the most important one in Canada. Almost every major newspaper, magazine, broadcast outlet and website in the country subscribes to it, which means they can pick up and broadcast or reprint any of its content. 

The whole point of a newswire is to get things out faster than everybody else. This is roughly how I imagined an average day would go:

"Brownell, we need you to cover the press conference on the circus clown strike. Here's a video camera, microphone, still camera, and laptop. We need you to file a report with video, audio and pictures in an hour. The conference starts in five minutes - run!"

In fact, it's been exactly the opposite. It's sort of like freelancing, except I get a desk and a phone. I walked in on day one, they asked me if I had any story ideas, I pitched two, and they said "sounds great - work on that."

I start at 10, I'm done at 5, I get a lunch break. I wrote three stories last week, which to me feels like a life of leisure, but according to them is better than the average intern.

They put my first story on the wire today. I'm ashamed to say that I'm feeding the media obsession with Twitter, but it's a pretty good story, in my opinion. Googling my name under "pages from Canada" has revealed that it's already been picked up by several websites - including! Hopefully it will make it into some newspapers tomorrow too.

The other story I pitched, about youth unemployment, is going on the wire tomorrow to be picked up by papers on Monday. I'm not sure when the third one I wrote is going up, but it's about how small towns in Eastern Ontario are trying to attract tourists who don't want to spend money vacationing abroad because of the recession.

Look, ma - I'm a real journalist.

I'll update with more links as they come up.

1 comment:

Millie said...

Look at you all successful and stuff! My husband is a real journalist, I'm so proud.