Tash Lewis is a final year Master of Communications and Media Studies student who recently completed an internship at Channel 7 and was later hired as a TV news monitor for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Here she shares her experiences at Channel 7 and how her Monash education is helping achieve her professional aspirations.
What was your placement at Channel 7?
My placement at Channel 7 was in the newsroom. Here I was exposed to working within news, sport, and social media. I experienced first-hand every process of a TV newsroom – from being on the road as a reporter, to editing packages and producing bulletins.
What was the process of getting the placement like?
I was fortunate enough to have found the Seven news internship through Monash. Monash’s Journalism Internship Coordinator, Julie Tullberg, is the best point of contact for upcoming opportunities like this (read all her emails and apply for everything!). We were asked to submit a CV and cover letter and from there a selection of candidates were given an interview. As this was my first interview for a newsroom internship, it did throw me a little bit. Ensure you thoroughly know the organisation you are applying for – know their target audience, their style of newswriting, understand where they consume news, and the type of person they are looking to hire. Most importantly, come prepared with appropriate story ideas to pitch in the interview.
What were some of your highlights?
For me, one of the main highlights was being able to spend a whole day picking the brain of a reporter. Observing how they transform a newsworthy pitch into a colour rich package, attracting a local, even national audience. It’s important to understand that every journalist has a unique style of reporting – observing these differences and understanding why some stories are reported in one way and others another, will really help you to understand and develop your unique journalistic voice.
Whilst shadowing reporters we were given the opportunity to jump in and do a piece to camera, allowing us to create our own news packages back at the station. At the end of my internship I walked away with a show reel and collection of pieces for my portfolio, all professionally edited. This is the single most valuable thing I need to apply for work in the future and has already proven to open a few doors.
What were the main things that you learned during your placement?
What you get out of this internship is as little or much as you put in. An internship in any newsroom isn’t for individuals who are happy to sit back and wait for opportunities to be handed to them. You need to be an active member of the newsroom and make yourself known. It’s completely up to you how valuable the experience you walkaway with. Talk to everyone – ask a lot of questions! You’d rather be known as the intern who’s invested and interested rather than one who sits back. This is not only a learning experience but also a networking one. There’s a likely chance you may cross paths with these individuals in your future career.
How did your Monash education help you?
The internship reaffirmed and put into real-life practice everything I had learnt from studying journalism at university. You really don’t understand how much you’ve learnt until working alongside journalists in the field.
Do you think this experience will assist you in achieving your aspirations?
One hundred percent! In the short period of just under two months, I’ve taken away even more than I could’ve imagined. Having completed my placement, I was asked to come back and work as the TV news monitor for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. This is an example of a media job recruited internally – something I wouldn’t have even heard about had I not have interned at the organisation. I feel confident now applying for jobs, knowing I have a grasp on what is required at a professional level and what I need to work towards to advance my journalistic career.