I was so nervous to begin my little interning experience at the local news station. I was greeted by the news anchor Arturo Santiago who showed me the broadcasting room where he said I would later use the teleprompter(you know, the little box the news anchors read their scripts off). I was quickly shown how to use this little dial that makes the words keep moving forward(or backwards if you go too fast!) and then told I wouldn't be needed until 5pm when the first evening news show started. I had organised with Arturo to come in every Thursday and Friday during summer at 4pm. I wondered what I would do until 5pm and wandered round til I found the main newsroom but I couldn't find Arturo at first and I just stood there super awkwardly whilst everyone else took phone calls, discussed news stories and worked at their computers. Luckily I found Arturo who said I could just sit at the assignment desk with this young guy, Tom. The assignment desk was a raised 'work station' at the back of the room and is where they had all these police radios. Tom was super friendly to me, even though he looked really stressed out. He received the breaking news first and was to assign new stories to different people at the studio. He took phone calls, listened to the radios(which were constantly rabbiting on; half the time I could barely understand what was said although I did catch an alert of a possible suicide attempt which was rather intriguing), alerted everyone else in the room of breaking news updates and wrote articles for KCOY's website. He was telling me you basically have to be A.D.D. to do his job which was very true. You have to be able to divide your focus between various tasks, something I didn't envy. I just sat next to him for most of the time whilst reading the latest articles on the website and he asked me various questions about my exchange in the US. He told me he was from Philadelphia and that the people over there are really friendly but he didn't want to move back there as vacationing there made it that much more special. I wanted to ask him more about why he moved to California but he was in the middle of writing articles and such. I mean I wanted to be more social but I didn't want to disturb him either. Then at 5pm, it was the first evening news show of the night and Arturo was like 'Are you ready, Shivi?' and told me to go back to the broadcasting room. I didn't really think I would be using the teleprompter as I was barely shown how to use it but that's exactly what they wanted me to do. My heart was beating so fast. I mean, it was live television and the teleprompter is what the anchors rely on. At the beginning it was really hard to control it but after a while I got used to each anchor's speed at which they speak. Each time it was a commercial break I had to stretch my hand and roll my eyes as I had to be so focused and still during the half hour which went by so quickly. Then in my break before the next show I went back up to the assignment desk and this blonde-haired girl came up to me and asked if I was interning. Turns out she's a foreign exchange student too but on a college program and she's from Germany. She even knew one of the German exchange student from my group too! She was so friendly and was telling me that she's interning 6 days a week during the summer and this was her second week at KCOY. I told her I was doing the teleprompting and I think she was a tad jealous as she said she'd never got to do it before so she came and watched me for the 6pm show. I found out I was to do 3 shows each day so I finished up at 7:30pm. I felt really empowered by the end of the day as I really had to come out of my shell and interact with all these adults. I was telling my host sister that during my last year of high school back in Australia I didn't have many opportunities for meeting new people or speaking to adults so I was really proud I was able to cope.
I'll let you know how the second and last day of my internship went in my next post; Internship [part 3].