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So I have a college co-op student...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by NoTalentAndFatToo, May 15, 2007.

  1. Big Buckin' agate_monkey

    Big Buckin' agate_monkey Active Member

    Give him a purple pen. And when he fucks up something he's hand written (like a local high school result) yell out, "WHO HAS A PURPLE PEN?" This works especially well, and provides great humor for a staff, if the individual is a real go-getter.
  2. When I first interned a few years back, I thought the dumbest, most boring assignments were a big deal. So you may think the stupid shit you give him isn't very constructive, but he/she doesn't think that.
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Bastard! I'll co-op you!
  4. OTD

    OTD Well-Known Member

    We had an intern start a couple weeks ago. I said "Here, write this down . . ." "Uh, I don't have a pen or paper." So our first stop was the supply cabinet.

    How the hell can a reporting intern show up somewhere without a pen and paper? Kids these days! [/oldguytalking]
  5. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    He probably was thinking -- how the hell can this self righteous idiot who is trying to train me not even know the proper usage and definition of the words "right" and "write".....

    Kids these days...... ::)
  6. Yeah, and stay off, too.
    Lousy kids...

  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member


    It appears you are using more chemicals on your lawn than is environmentally sound.

    Weeds are our friends, too.

    Tsk, tsk.
  8. It is, indeed....

  9. OTD

    OTD Well-Known Member

    I'll go to the box, two minutes . . . and I'll feel shame.
  10. PTOWN

    PTOWN Member

    I say throw him into the fire. The first story I ever wrote for a daily was a 12 incher with 20 minuted to deadline, which is cake now of course. But I was nervous as shit and the copy editor assigned to my story kept yelling "PTOWN I need that story, God Damnit!" Still a good character builder. And I agree with Big Buckin Agate. Give the dude a purple pen and hope he doesn't crap his pants like some other part-timer that shall remain nameless.
  11. Writer33

    Writer33 Member

    What direction was your youngun' given before being sent to the track meet? I don't mean directions to the event. Hopefully, he's there for more than a free ride for the summer. I'd try to take advantage of the extra body. If you already have a clerk answering the phones, assign the guy things your staff realistically has no time to get to. Features, profiles. It may be a pain and some additional work for you, but the kid is going need your time and knowledge. We get an intern each summer. We have a small staff and I feel lucky to get the additional help. Good luck.
  12. jfs1000

    jfs1000 Member

    First day out you sent him to a track meet?

    Bad managing on your part....very bad.

    What you should have done was bring him in an have him take high school scores and type briefs. Get to know him and his skill level. Talk to him about journalism and give him advice that you learned your first time out. Or, was everyone as good as they are now?

    After a week, then pick and choose an easy assignment for him to cover. Example? Softball game. Short, quick, and easy to keep score. It is a linear event.

    A track meet is too much stuff going on and too results oriented. How the heck does the kid know what's a good performance or not? There are too many things for him to observe. This is absolutely the worst thing you could have had him cover. Insignificant doesn't mean easy.

    And, he has probably never read a track meet story before. Everyone has read baseball/softball stories. He knows what's important and what's not, and how it should flow and read (who got the big hits, or pitched well) etc....

    That he had useless stuff was as much your fault as his.

    Now, either have him shadow a reporter, or give him a layup of a game, preferably small school baseball or softball that doesn't have much on the line.

    We have found the best place when we have interns is to first start them off taking high school games and writing clean crisp graphs off the phone. You can catch their bad habits there and start to work with them in a relaxed environment.

    Then, get them out to an easy gamer. Preferably an afternoon affair that will be done well in advance of deadline.

    Lastly, expect him to be good. I would tell him I expect decent stories and that he will work like a real journalist.

    What we do isn't brain surgery. All he needs is to get his footing and he will be ok.
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