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Enna
02-26-2009, 10:41 AM
Hi all,

My newest WIP features a twenty-something woman who is doing a three-year residency at The Seattle Times as a reporter. Can anyone offer any info on the typical day of the intern, who they see on a regular basis, the structure of a newsroom....obviously I can find lots online, but I'm looking for personal experience.

I've also tried searching blogs, which I apparantly suck at, so if you know of a young reporter that blogs about their gig that would be great too.

Thanks!

The Lonely One
02-26-2009, 10:50 AM
Hi all,

My newest WIP features a twenty-something woman who is doing a three-year residency at The Seattle Times as a reporter. Can anyone offer any info on the typical day of the intern, who they see on a regular basis, the structure of a newsroom....obviously I can find lots online, but I'm looking for personal experience.

I've also tried searching blogs, which I apparantly suck at, so if you know of a young reporter that blogs about their gig that would be great too.

Thanks!

Well I don't work for a big paper but we compete with one that THINKS they're big. Incidentally the four staff writers at my paper don't utilize interns. The other paper does (or, did, recently--can't tell these days with the economy). From what I can gather, the interns do gruntwork. I don't mean get coffee though that might be what you do at the Times.

I mean, grunt stories. Stories seasoned reporters don't want--a boring meeting, Santa's in town, fluffy event previews, stuff like that.

You have the writers, which are in the office sometimes all day, sometimes out in the field the whole day. Phone calls, lots of those. Executive editors, city desk editors, blah blah blah. My stories usually get edited twice, once if I get them in after the daily editor leaves. Then again, we're a small paper, so--grain of salt. There're the production and sales people, too. But they aren't usually in the newsroom. That's mainly writers and editors. And photogs, of course. But they're mostly in and out, too.

Hmm...perhaps someone else should step in...

Enna
02-27-2009, 10:55 AM
Thanks! Grunt stories, that's perfect- I had a vague idea for a scene where the protag was given a kind of humiliating assignment.

CurranCR
02-27-2009, 03:08 PM
Hi. I worked as a reporter for two daily newspapers (mid-sized, probably smaller than the Seattle Times). Neither paper had any interns. The way I broke in was answering the phones at the sports desk, for a low hourly wage.

I can imagine a bigger paper using interns, but a three year internship seems too long to me. I think a year would be max, before the newspaper either hired her or sent her on her way.

Red-Green
02-27-2009, 07:09 PM
A three-year internship would be almost unheard of. My husband did a paid one-year internship as a photojournalist with a paper, and then another unpaid three-month internship with a larger paper. Yes, interns tend to get less glamorous assignments. The quirky human interest story rather than covering important political, criminal, or sporting events. He covered a lot of boring town council meetings and high school sports. Like the state track and field finals where he managed to get hit with a javelin. My hubby.