I’m back at home now in the United States, resting up, visiting family, and getting ready to head back to Moho for my senior year.
Looking back on my internship with NBC, I have learned so much in the past two months! This was my first real experience in both an office and newsroom environment. I have gotten a chance to see how an international media facility works on a day-to-day basis and have met many interesting people along the way. During my first week here, Eric, the editor, sent me to a press conference, which I then had the opportunity to write about for the MSNBC website. Of course, not every day was that exciting—more often I’d be making phone calls, setting up interviews, doing research or fact checking, reading the news, and transcribing/translating interviews. I have to say, research was one of my favorite activities simply because I learned so much about topics I probably wouldn’t know anything about otherwise, such as China’s search for oil in Tanzania and Kenya, or the popularity of designer handbags among Chinese men. Sometimes I would go with the crew on live interviews or filming. During my last week in Beijing, I went out on the street with David, the cameraman, to interview people about Yao Ming’s retirement. (Photo below: me acting like I know how to use the camera during setup for an interview.)
Outside of my internship, I made new friends and got to know some other amazing Moho’s—in particular Lucy Cummings and Simone Cote, who were interning in Beijing at China Radio International. It’s been interesting to compare our experiences and observations since our internships are of a similar nature, but the companies we work at are quite different: NBC is an American company, while CRI, although it broadcasts to an international audience, receives funding from the Chinese government. Both news organizations face certain regulations and restrictions—being a journalist or reporter in China isn’t always the easiest job!
This has also made me more aware of the importance of unbiased reporting and the extent that media can shape our perception of things. All of you probably already know this, but I can’t help repeating it: as much as journalists might try, they are never objective, and sometimes they push certain biases on purpose because it makes a story more sensational, and therefore more newsworthy. In retrospect, being in China and being able to talk to locals about the things I was reading in the news gave me some of the best insights into current events since they were more connected and affected by the results than I was.
I am so happy to have had this fantastic opportunity and cannot wait to apply and continue to expand on this new knowledge. I'd also like to give a big thank you to Mount Holyoke for all the great resources and support that helped make my summer the experience I wanted. I definitely plan on heading back to China in the future.