I spent a month as a journalist intern for the news department of bTV – one of top 2 Bulgarian TV channels. In just a month I got introduced to the practices of real journalism, I met interesting people who have remarkable points of view and taught me how to sustain the highest quality of work. I also made incredile friends. I got to work together with people I had only seen on TV. Every day brought different tasks and emotions which made this experience so unique. Here is how a “usual” day at bTV News would unfold.
If my daily tasks included helping out with the broadcasting of the morning news show, I had to be in the studio at 6am, making sure the special guests were there on time, and that the team was sticking to the schedule. In the meantime, I was able to observe the process of LIVE broadcasting. This was also the case with the afternoon news show and the weekend news shows.
About three and a half hours later the reporters’ daily meeting would start. This was when they discussed the news digest, plan the work for the day and then the two news directors would assign the reporters tasks. It was preferable that we, the interns, choose which journalist to join on set. Then we would help them in the making of the news videos, conducting the interviews, etc.
After the end of the meeting, everyone would start work. For the interns, that would mean many things:
Joining journalists on set
There is no better way to learn than going out there, in the real world. I did this many times. To understand what is going on beyond the frames of the TV screen, I had to stick to journalists when they were working. It was preferable to do it with different journalists so that I could grasp different ways and styles of interviewing, filming, and editing afterwards. I collected some very handy advice from them, which I plan to use in my studies and at work in the future.
Working on our own projects
Our supervisors would encourage us to be on the search of news. Whenever we came up with ideas, if Asen (the main supervisor) approved, we would begin to work on them. This would mean contacting the necessary people, appointing interviews, writing the script and planning the video, taking part in the editing process. When we needed an interview, we were provided with a camera operator. Filming was a team work, therefore establishing a good communication with them was essential.
Doing research / “news-hunting”
This would mean monitoring social media where people usually put out different complaints / abnormal things which could potentially be news-worthy. Our supervisors also encouraged us to pay attention to our everyday surroundings, such as friends, family, neighbourhood because “news could be anywhere” as they used to say.
Receiving complaints from our viewers
The interns were in charge of receiving calls from the public, deciding wheter wat they say is news-worthy, and then letting the one of the news departments know about it. Sometimes we would research a complaint on our own and eventually make a news coverage of it.
Looking back now…
Four months later, I reminisce about this exciting period with joy and gratitude. I still cannot believe how lucky I was to have this amazing opportunity. It was an experience which took me a step closer to being a professional, but also to becoming an agent of change. Thanks to this internship, I am returning to university more self-confident, more knowledgeable, and with more great stories to tell.