brauch ich für die uni....
I still know the feeling of hundreds of thousands of dancing butterflies in my stomach, when I entered the newsroom of the “Straubinger Tagblatt”, the newspaper for Lower Bavaria on Monday the 23rd of March, 2005. I had a feeling of having changed the world. But I only wrote for two weeks an article and designed some pictures, just like other interns have done before. However, when I was holding my own article with my own designed pictures printed in the newspaper in my hands, I was overcome with a flush of proudness. This one month internship at the Straubinger Tagblatt was one of the best decisions for my job-related future. Not only because I have created certain relationships, which will help on my future career, but also because I was given the freedom to work on my own and to work in time.
Of course this freedom is not possible at all worldwide editorials offices of a newspaper. This one although it is the biggest newspaper for Lower Bavaria, is comparative small. The fact that the editorial office had less employees than other newsrooms enabled me more freedom to do exactly what I want to become a good writer and editor. Big broadsheet newspapers have their own occupation plans for interns. Actually, I know this only because I was working as an intern at a big broadsheet newspaper just before this internship and from other friends’ statements. Like me before, they were pinched in the monotonous routine of an average employee, where they were allowed to arrange things and correct articles. But this is not the way an internship as a would-be journalist should be. The point is that an internship finally should show you if you are qualified for the job. Therefore you first have to discover your skills. If the internship is successful, then you will be given the possibility to find out what you can do best. At the Straubinger Tagblatt I was able to think out a topic to write about and to design pictures for it. I discovered that I like to write but I still love it more to design. This was only possible because of the freedom they gave me to create my own newspaper page. An internship at a newsroom as a would-be journalist should be in the ideal case multifaceted, colored, and exciting. If you do the whole day the same thing as your authorized employee you are blocked to enter new ways and to create new ideas.
Only because you can get more freedom it doesn’t mean that you have to choke on boringness. Although you have your working freedom you are still pressed for time. An internship at a newspaper can teach a would-be journalist how to work in time. As a proper editor you have to have a way with time. For the next issue in your section you have to manage three articles with pictures, otherwise you’ll have to write them by yourself in only one day. Tearing one’s hair is a seldom experience in a newsroom. As an intern I could learn how to manage this time pressure. I was given a deadline of two weeks to finish my article and pictures for a one-page spread. Other odds and ends of works I also had to manage in this time, like computer work, bureaucracy, and writing things. Every day I had to allow extra time for those things, to manage with the rest of time my article and pictures. Finally I have to admit, it was not as easy as I thought it would be to manage the time of my work. At Friday of the second week I had to add two long hours.
And it was worthwhile, because I proved myself to the whole editorial office as a real almost-journalist. Through my pictures other staffers had become attentive to me and asked me if I can design their pictures for them. This was a healthy secondary effect, which appeared after the stressful work. If you’re doing your work good and with enough desire, other staff members will get attentive to you. Not only because of the most times very good result, but also because of the sacrifice and full activity you put in your work. With an internship at a newspaper you can easily built a relationship-network, which can help your journalistic career, if you are clever. In my case there were relationships outside from the Straubinger Tagblatt, at a magazine where I always wished to work for.
For a would-be journalist it is the best to do one or two internships at a Tabloid newspaper to become sure, if you really want to work in this business. Not only because you find out if you really like to write or to design and work under time pressure, but also because you meet people who might can help you with your future career, through building new relationships.