Blogging about on-the-job experience

Ilana Slott hoped I could help her solve a problem.

She had just finished MMC 2100 last spring (2008) and had been offered an internship at News 12 in Long Island. That was near home for her so she could live with her parents for the summer. She’d be able to gain that important cross-platform experience, as she was a journalism major who would be gaining broadcast experience.

The problem was that News 12 required that she be taking college credit for this internship, and she wasn’t eligible to take internship credit. Our college requires that students have nine hours of courses in the college in order to take internship credit. That is a logical policy, as we want students to have some coursework before representing the college and before being placed in a media setting that would expect them to have some media skills. Ilana only had six hours of credit in the college.

By the following summer she’d have more than 20 hours, but that would mean she would miss this summer’s opportunity. So she signed up for an independent study with me — working at News 12 for the summer was the independent study.

She was taking college credit, so she was eligible for the internship. She had a great summer working experience.

As part of her assignment to fulfill the independent study, she had to maintain a blog about her internship experience. We talked about some of the criteria for the blog. She needed to remember this would be a public writing experience. So she should consider what information she would be telling about the news organization — stories being covered, etc. She also needed to be diplomatic in talking about any personnel issues, whether with News 12 staff, people she interviewed or the local community.

She developed broadcasting skills, a better understanding of the broadcast news business, and had some new clips for her portfolio. And I enjoyed sharing her experience through her blog.

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