It’s the beginning of my Friday shift at the Daily Camera. I stumble into the newsroom and await another story idea to make its way from the desk of the city editor to my email inbox.
It’s early, too early for me to ignore my stomach’s plea for food and my eye’s plea for less light. But there I am, arriving on time, minutes before the 10 a.m. meeting where stories are budgeted for the next day’s issue.
This is where stories are handed out to the pros while I stand in patient repose. Feeling like a badass, even though that in that vicinity I’m nowhere near anyone’s level. In my hands are a pen and a paper pad, ready to jot down an imaginary assignment. After the meeting, I return to my desk.
It’s a quiet regression from anxious boredom to boyish excitement.
If waiting for a source is tedious, then waiting for a story assignment is an almost physically offsetting feeling.
I peruse local newspapers, national dailies, newsmagazines and the occasional broadcast piece. I browse other sites to make me feel like I’m doing something, anything, while I wait for that email from my editor.
The email always arrives when I lease expect it. Maybe I’m the middle of a tweet, sharing a story I found intriguing; maybe I’m looking at an inane video that has absolutely no place in a newsroom; or maybe, just maybe, I’m actually researching a story lead and are in the midst of formulating a pitch.
As an intern, there are times when I take for granted the fact that stories are assigned to me and that I am very rarely asked to pitch story ideas. My thankfulness is bountiful for the latter. Because I suck at creating story ideas; it’s one of my weakest areas of journalism skill, since finding story ideas is something I find arduous. But mind you, it is also an area that I am currently working on.
I am thankful for having such an experienced stable of professionals willing to share some insight. They make my job a whole lot easier. And in some cases (as far as that wait period goes), they make my job a little painful.
But that pain is good. It’s demonstrative of my eagerness to want to work and want to start reporting, start writing and start interviewing, so that when all is said and written, I’ve truly earned the right to be called an intern.
Now getting them to call me a reporter, well, that’s a different sort of battle.