The Spokesman-Review : interns

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Sam Taylor: C'est la vie ... of an intern

Today is a busy day in the life of Sam the Intern. Our cops and courts reporter is out, meaning work is thrown to me for that beat.

Already this morning there has been a bomb threat (actually, it's allegedly three bombs in a corporate office next to the Coeur d'Alene Resort) and less than 30 minutes later a bank robbery was called in and they're still searching for a suspect.

On top of this I get the classic intern story of how much water is being consumed during this extremely-hot week we've been having. No, I'm not complaining about the story - but the point is sometimes you'll have a slow day, and other days (like today) you have the chance of being swamped. You take it all in and learn from it. That's the best advice I can give. Me? I thrive off of the stress, as I think most journalists do. A key, I think, is to try to give yourself a brief respite every so often. I'm taking that time to get this fresh thought out of my head in the form of the blog. Other days I might read the newspaper's Web site or the blogs - or surf myspace quickly to see if I have messages (I never do, sadly, so it's a very quick look. Then I cry ...).

Do this so you don't flip out and go insane. It'll help keep you fresh. Remember that perching over the scanner for hours on end will not help the police catch anyone faster, or get you information sooner. Young journalists always want info then and there to get the reporting done. I've covered issues and events where I'm there 15 minutes early and a 25-year veteran reporter walks in half an hour late and pretty much gets the same story that I did. In time, you figure these things out, too. After four internships, I think I'm starting to get it but I know, also, that I have a ways to go.

And I was supposed to be playing guitar at lunch with one of the photo journalists, too.


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