Great internship (and life) advice

In reporting today, we were visited by the Greensboro News and Record reporter Tina Firesheets, who offered us some pretty awesome advice for a variety of journalistic skills.

I would like to start off with the incredible fact that the News and Record has a paid internship program…which is pretty much unheard of. WOW. But that’s just a fun side note.

1. Be on time (be early): This was something that Tina focused on a lot during her discussion. This is something that I have always strived for, but is something that, hearing over and over again, has emphasized its importance. Oftentimes as a journalist, you aren’t

Tina Firesheets - Photo courtesy of the News and Record

going to be in an area that you’re familiar with which is why it is vital to get to places early to allow extra time. Tina talked a lot about how important it is to make a good impression to the person you’re interviewing, and being on time is vital. Something else that she said, and something that I can definitely identify with, is allowing for things to do wrong because inevitably, something is always going to go wrong.

2. Get taken seriously: This one should be obvious, but as college students we are at a slight disadvantage, Tina said. Because we are college students doing interviews and not necessarily professionals, we are sometimes, by default, not put at the same standard. This is why it is important to make yourself seem important and to be taken seriously. There are many ways to do this. The most simple one is to dress professionally – this right here can bring a great first impression to your source, making them want to respect you as a journalist, Tina said. Researching the topic beforehand is also a simple, great way to not only understand the topic better, but understand the subject better during the interview. By knowing a little bit about the subject before going in, you look more prepared, get more respect and will be ready to learn all you can about your source and his or her subject.

During my time at Elon in the communications school and on the staff of The Pendulum, I definitely have learned many of these techniques and try to abide by them in every interview that I do. But it’s nice to know that what we are doing here at Elon will help us greatly in the future world of journalism!

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