Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My last day

So yesterday was my last day, which was sad because everyone was really cool and it was a great experience. Unfortunately I spent most of the day waiting for people to call me back but eventually I got a different story to work on about climate change.

But now that I'm done I guess I should probably do a reflection and all that...so here it goes:
1. Being an actual reporter for an international news agency before my junior year in college was absolutely amazing.
2. Sitting in a small office all day waiting for something interesting to happen so that you can cover it is not so fun.
3. Getting free coffee and pastries every morning from the National Press Club (well technically I wasn't allowed but I didn't know that until last week) made every morning a little bit better, even if the coffee was really crappy.
4. At the end of the day when the deadline approaches everyone goes a little crazy, lots of conversations about fuzzy, big-eyed animals that got a little ridiculous.
5. It is way easier to write something from a press release.
6. When you are the only one in the office who was not born in a different country, you feel a little odd/intimidated, whatever haha (or when you are the only one who hasn't been kicked out of a country or is a refugee, etc.).
7. The other interns can save your life.
8. Your editors can be intimidating sometimes or you may think they're harsh and all that, but really you just have to adapt because in the end they will bring you muffins (or just be a good reference).
9. For me, at least, it is ridiculous nerve-wracking as you are dialing the phone or waiting to talk to the head or deputy director of some major NGO or other organization.
10. Seeing your article on the websites of different news organizations is one of the greatest feelings in the world.

So that is all from me. It was a two and a half months working and reporting for IPS. I have written about so many things from climate change to disability rights to Africa and the Middle East, but it's been fun. It's corny but getting to research and write about different places and subjects is actually a lot of fun. While I am closer to learning what type of reporter I actually want to be, I'm glad for the actual field experience and extremely grateful to everyone at IPS for helping me out.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Last two weeks

Well the last couple weeks have been uneventful with the Fourth of July, so I ended up taking two days off so I could go home. But other than that it's been great having an article out every day I'm there, so I end up getting three articles online a week. Last week I was able to get two out, both regarding Human Rights Watch reports. The first one was on a report about the northern region of Kenya, where Human Rights Watch has documented abuses by troops who are supposed to be protecting these civilians from militia groups but instead they have been torturing them and arresting them. The second one I wrote last week was about a detainee in Iran who is severely disabled and who Human Rights Watch is hoping to get released. He was a very prominent reformist and is disabled because of an assasination attempt against him in 2000. It was a really interesting report so I definitely encourage you to read it. It's been great to learn about these different regions of the world and issues and to write about them. It's definitely giving me a great look into the world of journalism and especially covering international issues, which has been a great opportunity for me.