IT TOOK me four hours and 25 minutes just to come up with this sentence.
Yes, you’ve read that line right. It did take me that long to complete a fifteen-word clause.
You might wonder why, and that’s understandable. After all, for someone who has fallen in love with words for as long as she could remember and been writing since the age of five, getting an essay done should not have been that difficult. And it would have been easy, if writing was actually nothing more than putting random thoughts into paper.
But writing, I have learned, should not be random. Every word counts, which is why it takes so much time to think of how to make each word worth reading. This is where most fail, and this is what I, a budding journalist, should keep in mind.
It is all too easy to feel somewhat confident about writing when you’ve learned so much about it from school. And though confidence in itself is not a bad thing, it could actually be misleading. That was what I found out right after my first day of internship as a news writer.
I have to admit that I felt apprehensive when I was given my first writing assignment. The pressure to perform well was there, and despite the training I received in school, I found myself wondering if I was really up to it. In fact, just the thought of having a deadline to beat and a story to turn in almost every day still makes my stomach churn. Though I have learned the basics of journalism as a Mass Communications student, putting those theories into practice is of an entirely different level.
Despite my initial misgivings, I have to say that my first week as an intern did actually turn out quite well. Not only was I able to put those theories I’ve learned into practice, I was also able to get a taste of how it really is to work in the media.
I learned to appreciate the value of preparation before going to a press conference. I realized that I have to know what it is I’d be hearing about so I could ask the right questions and get the answers I want for my article. I likewise learned the importance of flexibility when interacting with people who come from different walks of life and that how I deal with one interviewee will not necessarily be the same way I would be dealing with the next.
Lastly, I have come to realize just how much power words hold in shaping society, and this realization impresses in me the weight of my responsibility as a journalist. It is a reminder for me to think before I write, discern which information is accurate or not, and know which story is indeed worth telling.
Indeed, there is more to writing than the mechanical aspect of it, especially in the world of journalism, and it is not that easy a task to fulfill. Still, the knowledge that my words could help build an informed citizenry makes the effort worth it.
My first week of internship may have ended, but not my learning, for there is still so much I need to learn—something I look forward to.
On-the-Job are essays written by students fulfilling their internship with Sun.Star Davao.