Last summer I spent a month interning in the news department the bTV channel. In just a month I got introduced to the practices of journalism, I met incredible professionals who taught me how to sustain the highest quality of work. I also made incredile friends. Every day brought different tasks and emotions which is what made this experience so unique. Here is how a 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 show’s guests were there on time, and that everyone 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 workload for the day and then the news directors would assign tasks to the reporters. 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.
The interns had a variety of tasks every day. Most of the time they would include:
Before we had the chance to report on a news story on our own, we had to spend some time “shadowing” the journalists. This would mean joining them when they went out to report on something, thus learning how it’s done.
working on our own projects
We were constantly encouraged to be on the search for newsworthy events, people, even social media posts. Whenever I had free time I was doing research on social media. It’s interesting how many newsworthy posts one can find in Facebook groups. People share things that upset them or make them happy all the time. Social media can be a good place for collaboration between citizen journalism and traditional journalism. Citizen journalists are often the first to witness the events, while traditional journalists can give them a voice.
Once I became an intern at bTV I began to notice my own surroundings much better. As I was on the lookout for news around me, I began to realise just how many things had the news values and just had to be reported on. These were local problems which needed to be solved, or young entrepreneurial people with wonderful ideas who were doing good for society but not many people knew about them.
One such case was just a casual conversation with my friend which resulted in my very first own news story. She told me about two young women who were working on building the first shared space for studying in Sofia’s student area. I found this idea quite innovative and progressive as this area is notorious for its night life rather than libraries and studying, so I decided to raise awareness.
I contacted them, interviewed them and filmed the space with the cameraperson, put everything together and voila! There it was, my first news story which was broadcast on TV! Click here to see it.
A lot of things happened in just a month. I learned many professional and life lessons. Everything you do changes you, every person you meet helps you better understand who you are and why you are here. My time spent at bTV was a self-reflective and eye-opening period. It was self-reflective because I saw myself coping with unfamiliar challenges and situations, and I took notes on how to do better next time. It was eye-opening because I got to see where my country and the media are at.
I also met some great people and made some life-long friendships! This is what I love about life: you never know where and when you will meet the people you are meant to cross paths with. And the ones that are meant to stay in your life and heart for good.