My previous week was the fourth of my internship. This time, I will not start with the serious aspect or what I learned because the list is daunting, so I will begin on a happier note. This studio is still filled with funny commentary. I have mentioned this every time in my posts because I cannot stress this fact enough. There is no better environment to work in than one that makes you smile. This week I was caught by the senior editor, giggling to myself from the conversation throughout the studio. She understood the reason for my laughter and regarded it smoothly. Also, I have finally tried the coffee. This machine is definitely something to rave about. It wasn’t until I started working here that I drank so much coffee. Two cups (really small styrofoam cups) a day. It truly is a game changer after many hours of working.
At the beginning of this week, Monday, October 2, 2017, the largest mass shooting in modern American history occurred in Las Vegas. I got the very first notification on my phone, first thing 5 a.m., Monday morning through the Wavy TV 10 app. I was to come into the newsroom at 9 a.m. Already, getting dressed in the morning was slow for me. The shooting was the only thing on my mind. Were all of my friends safe? How could someone do this? What would the mood in the newsroom be and could I be of help? When I got in, the atmosphere was calmer than I expected. Jokes were not being thrown around nor was there much smiling at all. The anchors were busy, routine scheduling was pushed off, and the sole focus was getting the correct information out to the public.
Left and right sources were pouring in with information regarding the shooter. I did not directly take part in this, but I looked on as editors sifted through details, determining what was confirmed and what wasn’t – what was valid enough to go out to the public and what wasn’t.
I sat there, heart in my throat, listening on to the updates about the heartless being who gunned into a crowd of innocent concert goers. Even without directly being in the newsroom action, I was stunned into near silence.
The first task I was assigned was to scour the comments within the Wavy Facebook posts about the gunman and find if there had been anyone local who was directly involved in the incident or knew someone who was directly involved. This was a simple task that I was able to take on smoothly in the very beginning, but as time went on – the more I scrolled through the Facebook comments of the posts – the sicker I got. People, locals in the comments, were angry, upset, hurt. The comments ranged from, “Pray for Vegas” to “Fake News! How dare you post this.” People were genuinely angry at us for updating on the information and a number of the comments called us out for not posting the correct content and not taking the victims into consideration. I’m used to seeing these comments, but not being on the receiving end. I didn’t even directly post the articles and I was upset by the accusations. Regardless, I managed to poorly shake off the emotion. Any field directly involved in Journalism is a tricky position to be in this day and age.
After what felt like hours of looking through local Facebook posts, I found a man who had friends who were shot in Vegas. Jane got the information out and thanked me for the content before giving me a task unrelated to the shooting. I was relieved. The mood on the internet was getting to me. Needless to say, it was a long day, but watching the other editors stay calm, update nonstop, and stay as true to the story as they could, was a learning experience. Later that night, during what I believe was the 11 p.m. news, I saw a segment about the people who were shot that I’d found on Facebook earlier that day. I felt like I’d actually managed to help in my fit of internal panic.
Apart from that, I was also taught how to post The Washington Huddle content and soon I’ll have a larger role involving HR Scene and the Friday Night Flights. (i love football and politics is really ruining it for me, so this is a huge plus)
Mid-week I felt as if I hadn’t learned anything new and I wasn’t much help anymore. Automatically, I knew this was my fault. If I have not learned a new skill in some way, shape, or form, then I need to speak up. This internship is not the place to be the small, shy girl that I’ve been my entire life. I need to involve myself and I will work more on doing that in these upcoming weeks by; introducing myself to people within the office whom I haven’t yet spoken to and saying “Hi” to those I see everyday and hardly speak to anyway. I’m taking baby step, but I need to start taking baby leaps. Oh. Still no photos really so enjoy a photo of this Fox 43 cup on the desk that I work at.