Ever since high school, I have dreamed of being in a newsroom. That dream has come true, but not with some nerves. I was terrified for my first week, but everyone at WAVY has been nothing but kind.
WAVY has given me a huge opportunity. Every time I step in the newsroom, I am more excited than I was the day before. This internship gives me a chance to hone my skills. Each time I go out with a reporter, I get better and better. They share tips, tricks, and ways to improve my reporting skills.
I began my internship at the assignment desk and then was able to shadow a producer. The control room is the craziest place — buttons, televisions, computers, and more buttons everywhere. I felt one wrong move, and I would shut the whole show down. Watching the midday producer was fast paced. She had to cut stories out because we were behind continuously. My favorite part was watching the anchors on the TV’s because I could envision myself on the same screen.
That same week I was able to shadow reporters. I went out with reporter Andy Fox to seek answers for a family about a Portsmouth police officer. I was able to see how sometimes things go away from the plan. We were not able to make contact with the family except for at the courthouse. Andy did not let that stop him and made a great story. The next day I spent the day with Marielena Balouris. We spoke with the owner of Mango Mangeaux and learned about a new place to eat in Hampton.
Nightside was a whole other beast. I followed Geena Arevalo to a heated emergency Floatopia meeting. The nightside shift is very hectic because they have to turn stories in a live truck. I could cut the tension with a knife. Geena had about 30 minutes to edit and get the story to a photographer. The nightside also requires a lot of live hits. Geena did live shots at 4 pm, 5 pm, 6 pm, and 10 pm and 11 pm to show the full story.
Moving onto the next week, I went out with Kara Dixon to interview a survivor of the Holley Cove shooting in Chesapeake. Talking to someone who witnessed such a terrible thing made me understand how to approach the situation. The coolest thing about following Kara is she is a one-man show. She shoots and edits all her content. I was also able to shoot my first stand-up and see how it felt to be a reporter.
Then the unthinkable happened. 12 lives were lost at the Municipal Center in Virginia Beach. I went out with reporter Tamara Scott to visit the memorial. We interviewed a few people out of state that traveled to be here for the Hampton Roads community. Having this happen during my internship is very heartbreaking, but I have learned how much our viewers rely on us as reporters.
I spent another night shadowing Geena Arevalo. This time to cover the memorial service of the 12 lives lost. To see all the people rallying in the Rock Church to show support to those families hurting, it warmed my heart. It made me understand how vital our job is in a time of need.
That weekend I helped at Harborfest in Norfolk. I was a runner alongside an executive producer to bring the guests on the Hampton Roads Show. We were able to open the show, and the thrill of being on camera gets me excited.
As we slowly moved to other stories, I went out with reporter Jason Marks. He received a tip from the assignment desk about a woman who ordered a private autopsy and never received it. She reached out to 10 On Your Side to get help. Jason was able to interview her and try to get her answers.
The next day, I spent being an investigative reporter. We went to the courts and obtained search warrants. I made phone calls to get more information about the private autopsy case. I loved finding and searching for information about a story.
Today, June 13, I went out with Brett Hall for nightside. It was another Floatopia meeting where city officials came with a detailed plan for the future of the event.
My love for journalism has only increased by watching so many talented reporters go out and do their job. I have found out how much I love the investigation side of the news. I am honored to have this opportunity to hone in on my skills. I continuously film stand-ups not once, but maybe 10 times over. With every take, I am able to practice. They always say practice makes perfect, but only perfect practice makes perfect.