We’re almost never wrong, right?
My first day as a news intern, I’d had two stories about two different organizations to work on. My editor/mentor suggested I call and set up an interview with one of the companies after ten minutes of research. I didn’t want to disappoint her by saying I wasn’t ready, so I made the call.
I hung up the phone after successfully getting an interview–scheduled for the next hour. While I’m frantically researching the person I’m about to interview, my editor informs me that I’d given him wrong information. I mixed up the two stories.
I was completely sick to my stomach. First assignment, and I blow it.
No backing out of the interview now, I proceeded.
My interviewee was gracious enough to not call me out and berate me, or the organization I represented. We conducted the interview and at the end, I let him know it was my first day as an intern and sincerely apologized for the terrible mistake on the phone, as I only had an hour to research the story.
As an intern, I did want to impress my boss, but it backfired. I should have spent the extra time to research and fact-check instead of rushing.
The result could have been disastrous, but lesson well learned. As mortified as I was (especially on my first day, conducting my first interview), I had to admit fault to both my editor and interviewee.
Ironically, I feel as though it couldn’t have happened at a better time. My first day may have taught me one of the toughest lessons in my journalism career to come.
As part of the PDXSX, I should also remember that our fastest work is not always our best work, as noted by this experience.