When I grow up, which sometimes seems to be much sooner than I would wish, I want to be a journalist. I want to inform, inspire and encourage people to think differently. IBCoM has certainly provided me with skills and knowledge to be the kind of person and journalist I aspire to be. Still, in the past years, I’ve also come to the realization that learning to be a journalist can best be done by BEING one.
For my internship in my second year, I ended up at Endemol as an editorial intern for the Dutch television program ‘Nooit Meer Naar Huis’. Not exactly a journalistic internship, but exploring related fields could be a valuable experience as well. ‘Nooit Meer Naar Huis’ was a new TV program presented by one of the Netherlands’ most famous and notorious TV personalities: Gordon. Because it was going to be the show’s first season, everything had to be figured out. From the type of candidates to the interpretation of the trips, nothing was certain yet.
Although dealing with these uncertainties was at times pretty challenging, they also made the internship more fun. I never knew what my day would look like when I got up in the morning. When I thought I was going to be searching for candidates, I could just as easily be sent to pick up golden suitcases in an 80,000 euro Range Rover.
Working as an intern for a primetime national television program definitely was one of the craziest experiences of my life. I did pretty cool things, like helping with recordings, doing shopping for a bedroom makeover and did I mention I drove around in a Range Rover? However, I also felt like I wasn’t really contributing to something with a bigger purpose. It did make me proud that the show that I had been a part of was a great success. Still, I felt like I wasn’t doing anything for society in general. However exciting and adventurous this internship was, it also strengthened the feeling that being a good journalist is a more meaningful job than working for entertainment TV.
This past summer, after I finished my bachelor’s thesis, I did a three-month internship at NOS op 3. NOS op 3 is a section within the national broadcast channel, focused on people in their twenties. They attempt to make the news more understandable and relatable for this target group. Working there was illuminating, inspiring, educational and incredibly motivating. I felt that what I was doing on a day-to-day basis meant something. I wrote news stories that informed people about things that mattered. For example, when two police officers were shot in the US during protests of police brutality, my colleagues at NOS op 3 didn’t really know what to add to the news stories that were already published by the ‘regular’ NOS. I suggested to explore the hashtags #blacklivesmatter and #bluelivesmatter on Twitter, which resulted in a balanced story of how young people opposed one another online on this delicate issue.
My colleagues at NOS op 3 encouraged me to speak up, to believe in my own thoughts and they taught me what there is to know about being a good journalist. This internship confirmed that the field I had chosen to dedicate my future to, actually was what I hoped it would be. I realize that not everyone is lucky enough to get this reassurance from their internship, but I do encourage you to keep looking and trying, even if it means sacrificing your well-deserved summer vacation after you finished your bachelor’s.