Friday was my last day as a Miami Herald intern. I’ve written several posts about the experience (links below), but now I would to provide a more comprehensive look.
From the first day, my colleagues were very friendly and welcoming. There are too many people to thank individually and I don’t want to leave anyone out, so I’ll just say: THANK YOU!
Check out this photo of my editor Carol Jertson (left) and me (right, with my eyes closed).
In short, the internship surpassed my expectations. I knew that I would have the opportunity to cover a wide range of topics as a general assignment reporter, but the quality of that experience was simply amazing â€“ and tons of fun.
I wrote more than 30 stories for print/online, posted more than a dozen breaking news stories online (almost all of which went into print as briefs), contributed to several other stories and even anchored a breaking news story (this involves taking feeds from a reporter in the field and updating a story online).
I was particularly pleased with the amount of video work I was able to do, shooting and producing a total of seven videos (three for my stories, two for another intern’s stories and two for a business writer’s column). I have also shot video to go with an in-depth piece I will continue to work on after the internship.
The newsroom has gone through some very significant changes since I began three months ago, especially where I worked â€“ the main Broward County office in the city of Pembroke Pines.
Like other news organizations, Miami Herald Media Company had its share of cutbacks this summer. About one month into my internship, the publisher announced that 250 full-time employees would be cut by voluntary and involuntary buyouts, which is about 17 percent of the staff. This news coincided with cutbacks across the board at McClatchy papers (more on that here).
On a positive note, I also witnessed plans to reorganize the newsroom and to redesign the Web site.
Reflecting on all this, I wrote the following on internal discussion board before I left Friday evening. I added the bracketed parts to explain a few things:
Intern’s last day: After 12 weeks, my stint as a metro GA [general assignment reporter] in Pines ends today. I’ve learned a lot, everything from sharpening my reporting skills to shooting and editing better videos.
I’ve also seen a great deal of change during my short time here. Some of those changes involved hard times. Hard times that have resulted in different pieces of advice for after I graduate in May: Go to law school. Go to med school. Don’t go into newspapers.
As for law school, Herald alumnus and current UM professor Sam Terilli has shown me that lawyers can be good people. Med school? I’m not a big fan of blood, so cross that off the list. Granted, those two bits of advice were usually jokes. But the third…not so much.
Nevertheless, I leave with a stronger love of journalism. I’m not naive (though I will admit to not knowing how to do the “i” for that in Coyote [system where we write stories]). I’ve been reading since high school about what’s going on in the industry â€“ and my time here has shown me some of those changes firsthand.
I’m hopeful that newspapers will find a way to innovate in terms of content and advertising. I don’t know when, or how, but I’m hopeful. I’m also realistic enough to know some won’t adapt and some might, but still fall prey to whatever circumstances.
To everyone I’ve met, thank you for everything and please keep in touch: greglinch[at]gmail.com or www.greglinch.com. I won’t be far away at school (I go to the University of Miami), so I’ll be sure to visit.
No goodbyes, just TTFN (ta-ta for now).
The end of my internship is not really “The End” because I plan to continue to write stories and shoot/edit videos as a freelancer.
But I did have to say goodbye to my desk (below) and ID badge.
What’s next: In addition to freelancing during my senior year, I will be the editor at large for multimedia and online at The Miami Hurricane student newspaper.
As of now, this is mostly an advisory role with certain hands-on elements, such as overseeing the launch of the new site, currently in beta. But it’s a new position, so I’m sure the role will develop more in the coming months.
Check out my other internship-related posts:
End-of-internship posts by other student journalists: