90ish days of summer
Today was my first day as a photo/multimedia intern at washingtonpost.com.
After the intern orientation wherein all 20-something interns for WP.com, Express and the Slate Group learned some basic facts about the company, etc., we split up and spent the rest of the day with our departments and supervisors.
I have worked in two newsrooms before — at the Maneater student newspaper and at the Missouri statehouse bureau for The Columbia Missourian — but was in for a surprise today when I got to know the WP.com newsroom a little more. For one thing, it’s very quiet, and only about half the chairs in the multimedia and metro sections of the newsroom were occupied.
For another, I learned pretty quickly that, as far as photo at the .com goes, they take what’s given to them (by other .com people or the print Post) and work to put it on-line. In the other newsrooms in which I’ve worked, the pace was almost always frenetic and frantic. Reporters and photographers alike were shuffling or rushing in and out: in to produce, submit or edit content and out to get that content. Unless it was a slow news day, the newsrooms were always a little loud and fast-paced.
But the WP.com newsroom — again — is quiet. And the photo editors wait to receive requests and content before they process anything. It’s unlike any newsroom I’ve encountered (to be fair, I haven’t encountered that many).
The bottom line is, unless I take my own initiative on projects and stories I want to pursue, my responsibilities would consist mostly of working on Faces of the Fallen, putting photo galleries together and fielding photo requests.
My plan for the summer? Get as much work and experience in the field as possible, but get some more experience at the desk and in the newsroom, as well.
My supervisor Dee seems very open to my both spending time in the newsroom and taking initiative with stories (as long as I don’t tread on the print Post‘s toes), which I definitely appreciate and am excited about.
Now I just need to figure out what I want to do!