PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — I can’t believe I only have a month until my internship is over. The past three months have been the best months ever! I Growing up I always knew I wanted to be a news reporter, but I never knew where to start. I took news related classes, but from there I didn’t know. But, once I got to WAVY, I knew I was at the right place, at the right time.

Shadowing reporters

I’ve had the opportunity to go in the field with almost every reporter here at WAVY. My favorite part about going out with different reporters is that I get to see everyones reporting style.

In this past month, I went out with reporters Kara Dixon, Jon Dowding and Madison Pearman on days they were “MMJ-ing.” Meaning, they were their own photographers and editors. The days I went out with them, I was able to experience what a day will be like for me, in my first market. I was able to record stand ups, practice shooting b-roll and put the packages together on my own.

Several days, I went out with anchor/reporter Regina Mobley. I call her my “TV Mom”. Being in the industry for so long, she knows how it all works. She corrects me when I’m doing something wrong — or even if it’s right, but not to her standard. One day while I was out with her at Naval Station Norfolk, I had the opportunity to interview the United States Secretary of the Navy and put the package together.

On another story, a homicide in Norfolk, we did door knocks to get interviews from neighbors. While door knocking, I learned how hard reporters have to work to get people to talk on camera. I searched social media high and low to find people related to the victim, and we ended up getting an interview.

Another angle of reporting I got to see was the investigative side. I went out with Investigative Reporter, Julie Millet, to cover a shooting in Chesapeake. It was an extremely sad story, and it was the third shooting in less than a year at that particular apartment complex. I was able to see first-hand how reporters work stories without an interview set-up. Julie was able to get the job done. She even explained to me how to go about getting interviews in tough situations like that.

I’ve spent weekends following reporters, and that is the best time to learn. One particular day, I went out with reporter Michelle Wolf on the day of the Granby St. shooting. We went to the victim’s family’s home, and then went live at the scene. That experience — was one I’ll never forget. That was a hectic day. I watched her strategically, just to see how to handle the job in tough moments like that, as a learning experience for me. Michelle handled it all with ease.

Unfortunately, lately most of the stories I’ve been out on are all connected with gun violence in the area. I went with Kayla Gaskins to cover the Granby St. shooting that killed two 25-year-olds. That day, we door knocked at local businesses on Granby St. to get their thoughts about the violence in the area. We ended up not being able to get an on-camera interview with a business owner, but we did get an interview with Councilwoman Andria McClellan. It was a busy day for us — but, Kayla was sure to explain all that was happening in those moments. I had the chance to do a stand up— but, that particular day I had on a denim jacket, knowing I wouldn’t be able wear that as a reporter. Kayla took her blazer off just so I could record stand-up. Kayla is a beast at her job; she cares about teaching interns the do’s and don’ts in the industry and I’m so glad she’s an instrument in my success.

Following all the gun violence, I wanted to take the time to attend a city council meeting. On my day off from the internship, I texted Brett Hall to see if I could come along with him to get the experience. Without hesitation the answer was, yes! The meeting lasted about three hours, and it was an experience to say the least.

Aside from violence-related stories, I went with reporter Chris Horne to follow up on a 10 On Your Side success story. It was interesting to see how a story he previously covered helped local veterans get assistance with their home, from another organization. Chris’ style of reporting is efficient, seeing the connection he made with the people showed me something I should strive for as a journalist.

Most recently, this past Wednesday, I came in at 3 a.m. with reporter Kiahnna Patterson and photographer LV. The morning shift is early, but worth every minute of sleep lost. They both took the time to teach their jobs to me. I was able to put together a mini package for my reel and do a stand-up in the newsroom. As for the writing, Kiahnna stressed to me that it’s the most important thing to know. I have that at a good flow, so she said it was time to work on my voice. I redid my voiceovers until she gave me the “Okay”. She took the time to help me, so I wanted to take the time and make the improvements. LV allowed me to redo my stand ups as many times as I needed, until I got the “Okay” from both him and Kiahnna.

Every reporter I’ve come in contact with here has been beneficial to me, as I learn the industry. I’ve learned something different from each one. I will continue to give this internship my all— the thanks to the people at WAVY for helping me become the best journalist I can be.

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