Can blogging be taken seriously?

 

Back in the day (about five years ago), I was completely against blogging. I thought it was pointless. Why does anyone want to read your diary online? Mind you, I was comparing the idea of a blog to things like xanga and myspace, where thirteen year olds thought it was okay to post minute-by-minute updates of their day. I’ll admit I went through the phase for about three months. After that, it got exhausting.

From that point, my interpretation of blogging was forever skewed. I didn’t think news bloggers could be legitimate and there was no way I would rely on them for a daily update on the world. Perez Hilton was not a journalist—so how could anyone turn uncensored posts to the web into legitimate journalism? I think the answer depends on the author.

Most authors circle their blogs around a point or topic. There’s nothing wrong with stating your opinion, but my issue with blogging is the fact that people can’t tell the difference between fact and opinion. The influx of news outlets online makes it difficult to determine which are reliable and some people don’t bother to try to figure that out.

My goal as a blogger for this summer is to write. I’m interning at a broadcast station and I don’t want my writing skills to drain, so here I am. Now the issue is whether or not blogging is actually helping me keep my skills sharp, or if it’s just a waste of time. I don’t necessarily judge that based on the amount of readers I have, rather the quality of my posts. Blogging does not require as much research as legitimate news writing, but it can if I’m writing about something that requires a source.

Journalism is about telling the truth. It wasn’t always a noble art fostered by unbiased men and women simply writing what they saw—it was propaganda. Then it evolved into rough drafts of history books, in which both sides were given equal merit.  Now it’s moving back toward a media with more opinionated outlets than straight news. But blogs can fit into either category.  

And the cycle continues…

Taking the Call: It’s Your Story

So, I’m sitting in the office, it’s day two or three of my internship. I’m doing research, making some phone calls and monitoring the Twitter account…all normal intern-ish stuff. All of a sudden, there’s a call for me.

Wait, why does anyone want to talk to me? I’m just the intern, just the one doing the research and sending the emails. But now I’m on the phone with a professional trying to see if he’s a strong candidate for an on-camera interview. Do I know what I’m doing? Absolutely not. Am I freaking out? Absolutely.

Fast-forward about five minutes and I’m hanging up the most nerve-racking call of my life when my boss turns to me and starts critiquing my call. One thing really stood out. “Take the call. It’s your story.” You have to own the interview and control the situation. 

My story? As an intern, I didn’t really think anything would actually be “mine,” per say. I just thought I’d help. I guess I should have assumed that I’d be working my way up, and why shouldn’t I own a piece of everything I do? Interning is about showcasing your talents and growing into the professional environment. Things might not have my byline right away, but there’s no reason why I can’t own my work. 

This summer is the beginning of my story; and I’m going to make every call count.

There’s always one…

Coming to a new place brings a fresh start: new places, new schedules, new experiences, but regardless of where I’ve been or what leadership program hands out the t-shirts, I tend to see the same people.

There’s always one… who has never been away from home. They freak out and recluse themselves into a comfort zone for the entire program. They’ll do the minimal amount of work, but mostly just stay in bed or stick to the friends they brought from home.

There’s always one… who doesn’t take anything seriously. They’ll blow through the program with more focus on the weekend than their internship and classes. When the summer’s over, they always seem to wonder why their killer networking at the bar didn’t quite pay off.

There’s always one… who takes it too seriously. They’ll stick to the scheduled events, tours and activities laid out by the program. They’re cordial to peers and roommates, but any kind of personality trait (other than uptight and determined) rarely appears.

There’s always one… who tries to do it all. Someone who wants to do, see and go everywhere with everyone. This one is usually me. I’m focused on interning, focused on classes, focused on blogging, focused on making friends, focused on seeing everything in Washington, focused on…you get the picture. My theory: I can sleep in August.

So, which person makes the ideal intern? What mindset do you need to have the best experience? Or is there a balance somewhere that I’m not seeing? Maybe I’ll be able to answer after I’ve caught up on sleep.

On your mark, get set, ORIENTATION!

The countdown is over. The days of packing, stressing and traveling are over. Let the summer begin. 

After 8 hours in the car and one night at the Key Bridge Marriott, I finally arrived at the new apartment. Eight weeks, five girls, three rooms, two showers, one goal: make this the experience of a lifetime. 

Thankfully, the program didn’t send us off right away. Having two days to get acclimated to the area and class has given us time to settle in. 

But tomorrow, the fun really begins. 

Things to Avoid This Summer…

Countdown: 4 days

 

For as long as I can remember, all I ever wanted to do was get out of Connecticut. Small town life was not for me. I knew it; my parents knew it; my friends and teachers knew, too. But after three years of college and four internships within driving distance of home, the big dream seemed further from reach every summer I stayed home. This summer is different.

Over winter break, I applied for every internship I could find that was anywhere but southern Connecticut.  After swimming upstream in the pool of undergraduate applicants, I got hired in Washington D.C.

The dream became a reality again—and right after the excitement came the panic. Of all the things I’ve seen and learned in my life, the Huggies diaper jingle was the only thing that came to mind, “I’m a big girl now!”

Oh. My. God. This is real life—and a real internship. It’s the beginning of a career; it’s the beginning of the real world. In my panic, I asked everyone and their brother how to prepare. Most of the advice ended up being what I shouldn’t do. So, this is what I’m going to try to avoid while I’m in D.C.:

  1. Asking stupid questions- The phrase, “There’s no such thing as a stupid question,” needs to be modified. It should state, “There’s no such thing as a stupid question, unless you can Google the answer.” If I can figure something out before having to ask, it shows that I take can take the initiative. So instead of blurting, “What’s that?” I can form a more intelligent question.
  2. Slacking in front of/behind my boss- I’m going to be a senior next year, which means every recommendation counts five times as much. Future employment depends on who you know and who you’ve impressed in the past. Facebook, I shall miss you, but I’ll see you on my lunch break.
  3. Making rookie comments- Everyone makes mistakes, yes, but there are obvious things rookies can avoid—aka posting inappropriately on social media. My boss is now following me on twitter, meaning I’ll be keeping my outfit photos and song lyrics to a minimum (if any at all). I also will avoid the pity-the-poor-intern statuses. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be called work.
  4. Spicing up my wardrobe- Clothes I wear to class or out to the club are not clothes I’ll be wearing to the office, but what about the couple outfits that could go either way? When in doubt, I was told to ask whether or not I’d wear it in front of my grandma or grab a sweater just in case.

I think that covers some of it. Do I feel better about the situation? Sort of, but these butterflies in my stomach are not going away any time soon. If you see a girl on the side of the metro hyperventilating next Wednesday, it might be me.