Lately I've been completely immersed in my latest venture, an internship with Texas Public Radio. It's a passionate love affair that started back in high school when my political science teacher would describe a story she heard on NPR and it sounded so compelling, I'd have to go find the material myself. That and I'd listen on the way to school and then name drop a story I heard from Diane Rehm.
Although I'm a journalism major, my abilities are not limited to only writing. So I found working in radio (and eventually public radio) rewarding and informative. I've benefited much from the three months or so I've been here. I've even posted my works on this blog.
Ultimately I don't want to restrict myself to the traditional definition of a journalist. I want exceed expectations, learn about all elements of reporting become an asset.
I've heard so many students say, "I've just got to get an internship done so I can put something on my resume" --and that's from my counterparts who even care enough to get an internship. But to me, especially with Texas Public Radio, an internship should provide more than the required "experience." It should be an experience. Why put yourself in a learning environment and then not ask questions?
It's a struggle, but I'm not a fan of the "I can't" attitude. At times working in this business isn't ideal or convenient, but it's something I'm passionate about, so any sacrifices made to succeed are worth it. Nothing is more invigorating than fostering a deeply-rooted passion.
My passion has brought me to public radio. I work alongside Edward R. Murrow Award winners and mentors who display pictures of themselves with a former vice president. I've gained a niche for public radio, developing elements of an engaging story. It's an art and at the same time a calculated discipline.
At a humble 22 years old, I can't say I'll work in public radio forever. My internship ends in May, followed by work over the summer and graduation in December. Public radio has given me a greater understanding of how to tell a story, which embodies a philosophy of good reporting. I can say for certain though that I hope to use the knowledge I've picked up here for future ventures, potentially including advisement from Terry Gildea to stay in public radio.
Among many other things, public radio has helped me develop one side of the multi-talented journalist I'm working to become. Audio is just one way to tell a story, and with these skills under my belt I am able to expand other dimensions of my career self, not for the sake of building a resume, but truly to become a wildly well-informed, versatile multimedia journalist.
The future though frightening is full of opportunities. And I want to keep them coming.