A steep learning curve equals a rewarding experience


On my first day, shorty after making the rounds of introductions, my training wheels fell off.

My boss emphatically slapped a picture of a sexual predator on my desk.  “This is your first story,” he told me.  I was surprised by the fact that I was already given a story assignment, but because the topic seemed so dark and unpredictable – I was floored.

The story, which will be in next Tuesday’s edition of the Clackamas Review, is in a few words, about neighbors concerns that an approved AT&T cell phone tower will overexpose them to radiation, devalue their homes and benefit a sexual predator.

Though I never had to deal with the daunting task of talking to the sexual predator, hearing neighbors stories about past health problems related to radiation made my eyes teary, but my head focused.

In Super J, teachers hammer home the important of journalism to a functioning society so much that I kind of took it for granted.

But talking to the neighbors provided me the wake up call I needed.

Still, for most of my internship I’m working in the more light-hearted Portland Tribune sports desk.

However, the New Orleans Pelicans locker room after losing a nail biter to the Blazers was anything but.

My job was to write a side story. Because the night before Kentucky improbably made it to the championship game of the NCAA Tournament and because Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis and Darius Miller went to Kentucky, I thought I’d write the sidebar on their reaction to the win and the UK basketball program.

Davispic

But when I asked Davis about his thoughts on his alma mater’s victory, he said, “We don’t need to talk about that right now.” I politely obliged his request to avoid the topic. However, I had already interview Darius Miller, but needed more.

Thankfully, I remembered Tyreke Evans played for UK coach John Calipari at Memphis. Though he was in such a funk after the loss, I couldn’t hear a single word he said, my iPhone nabbed some good quotes and the story was complete.

This internship feels like a job and I couldn’t be happier.

Corey Buchanan

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About cbuch232

Just trying to make my way from the hazy mist to the light. I am a Journalism major and Political Science minor at University of Oregon. I am passionate about learning new things, meeting new people and most of all, journalism! My specialties are writing and editing but I also have experience with photography and videography.
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2 Responses to A steep learning curve equals a rewarding experience

  1. davidhamernick says:

    Although I haven’t had to deal with anything too gritty or heavy at my internship I an relate to the “wake up call” aspect. It’s a really great feeling when one has that moment of realization that his/her work is being put to very real use, and is no longer theoretical skill-sharpening fodder for the J-school. I’m sure you’re in the same boat as me though, where you’re super grateful for all that theoretical J-school fodder now that you’re using those skills for a real life internship!

  2. kaitlynchock says:

    This is pretty intense but I’m really excited for you because you’re clearly getting a lot of responsibility in the beginning of your internship. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to interview people about the cell phone tower but as you pointed out that story is a great example of journalism’s importance to a functioning society.

    I also respect the fact that you gave Anthony Davis some space when he asked for it. I think your article turned out great even without a quote from Davis. It must be hard to balance getting a good story and respecting your interviewee’s desire for privacy. These are valuable insights that I’ll take with me in my internship.

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