Working at Radio Station and what it taught me.

The following was written by Maryam Adhikarie on her blog about her experience as an intern. (Reposted with permission)

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It has been months since I updated my blog and it feels really good to get back into the swing of things. Consequently, a few months ago I applied for my first ever real Journalistic job in media. I’d never ever thought any sort of job would change me as much as a person as working in the media industry.

Just finished my 1st year final assignments and rushed over to catch a ride to head over to an interview I never thought I would have gotten. With no prior experience to what an actual interview entails I sat sweating on the seat taking a look at the surroundings and tried not to look like this was my first time.

Think of any police, bad cop, good cop type of scenario where they interrogate the suspect. It felt and looked like that with the interviewer asking questions and the room with the glass windows. I was very unsure on how to behave and the teenager in me at the time could not stop fidgeting. It was a process that I felt took an eternity.

I got the golden phone call, and soon was in training alongside my newly wed colleagues. Thrown straight into editing as much sound as we possibly could. It was a painstaking process of editing sound that I assure you no intern liked, however, it would benefit us immensely later when it came to collecting sound.

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From editing we were taken outside, which we appreciated. What we did outside was collect sound from people on the streets. A basic question on current affairs asked to as much as people as you can get on record, called a Vox Pops. This is where we learnt how to approach people properly to get there opinions on anything such as sex, sport, politics to circumcision.

I thoroughly enjoyed asking people out on the streets on there opinions about things. It showed me a different perspective on things and made me more knowledgeable about how people think, enforcing the fact that not everyone thinks the same. There are instances where I would not agree with what the person is saying, however, I would reiterate in my mind that it is not my job to disagree, my job is to get a balanced story.

A balanced story is not something I was well equipped for when I started. I had to learn what a balanced story entails. There was so much learning that had to be done, not that my first year of Journalism did not prepare me enough, it is that there is certain things you have to learn in the field when your are thrown into the deep end.

University in essence is a safety net, you can make mistakes, whereas in the media industry or more specifically radio, your name as well as the company is on the line and that is where the pressure comes from. You repeat a year or a module if you fail at University and that is really no ‘biggie’, but in the media industry if you do mess up you may not have a job the next day and no media company would want to hire you after that. Protect your name.

Radio, specifically, sounds pretty easy when you listen to it, however, think of radio as a piano keyboard, anyone can sit down and press down onto the keypads but how terrible will that sound to the ears. You need to know what you doing and it does takes loads of practice. This is called engineering.

Watching presenters engineer for themselves, playing jingles, playing sound and multitasking was an honor to watch. I laugh as I write this sentence because I soon had to engineer for myself and that was, personally, for me, the most difficult but the most rewarding when I knew how. I felt like a puppet controlling the air waves and controlling what you heard, it was and will probably always be the best.

In the couple of months that I was there, news was pouring out of every corner and it would be overwhelming at first. But, overtime you would get familiar with the influx and amount of work put in to bring out your best story. You would learn how to work alongside people. I learnt that you wont be an expert at first everything takes time, some more than others, have patience.

Other than hardship, stress and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you also get to meet fellow presidents, ministers and politicians. Particularly in radio, because of the type of radio station I worked at you get to meet loads of different types of people from chefs to singers and dj’s, you really get a nice blend.

Read the original blog post and follow Maryam’s journey on twitter.

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