Review on Journalist, News Desk, Editorial Department
|Support & Guidance|
|Environment & Location|
|How Rewarding Was It?|
I was a reporter on the news desk. On my first few days, I shadowed other reporters to observe them. I followed them on assignments (press conferences, events, etc.) and helped them write their articles. The following week, I was sent on assignments alone and had to do my own writing. However, those first solo assignments were 'easier' tasks; more human interest-type stories. That helped me ease into the job. Only in my third week did I start covering bigger stories; politicians, national interest news, etc. The job scope was not explained to me beforehand but I did not have difficulty adjusting. My colleagues and superiors were very helpful in guiding me throughout the 8 weeks. Interns also have the freedom to rotate desks (lifestyle, features, etc.) to gain more exposure; just talk to the editors. TheSun prints on weekdays only, so working days are Sunday to Thursday, but you can schedule yourself for a regular Monday to Friday work week too (the office is quite dead on Fridays though). They're quite flexible that way.
What I appreciated most about the experience was the trust placed in interns. Interns are given independence to produce their own work while still having the support of superiors and colleagues. It is a very hands-on job; you will get a very clear picture of what it is to be a journalist. Not being trained in the field, I still learned to recognise the different styles of reporting and the different characters of the several national newspapers. You also learn to write very fast. Besides that, I gained a lot of insight on several national affairs, having practically first-hand access to all the information and people of interest. It is a very eye-opening experience to essentially be the middle-man in providing information to the public. It is also widely agreed that theSun is the most neutral English language newspaper in Malaysia. As it is owned by Berjaya Group, every once in a while there will be a small insert on Tan Sri Vincent Tan or Tun Dr Mahathir but their news reporting is unbiased. Given the size of the paper (about 10 pages of news), their writing style is concise and straightforward.
My mentor actively involved me, mostly attentive and ensured I gained from the internship.
Journalism majors, definitely. Also anyone who is interested in current affairs (another intern and I are International Studies majors) and the goings on of the country. The job is fast-paced so you have to be active - be an active listener, ask questions... It got intimidating at times, especially at bigger events and press conferences where you and a bunch of other more senior reporters are waiting for some minister but even the journalists from other companies are happy to help you if you ask. You get exhausted from the working hours and constant movement but at the end of the day, job satisfaction makes up for it.