By Chow Jing Yi
My internship tenure began with a feeling of nervousness accompanied by a sense of curiosity. Largely, it was because I am the first-ever student from Han Chiang University College of Communication (HCUC) to be interning in Malaysiakini. The local online news portal had to switch its internship to virtual arena as interstate-travel was prohibited due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On the first day of my internship, I introduced myself in the WhatsApp group I was added in as an intern assigned to the KiniTV department. However, it was so different from what I had imagined. My colleagues were obviously not blessed with the privilege of spare time to welcome a newcomer like me as countless messages and new updates quickly pushed the message of my arrival away. It was not the warmest welcome to be experienced by a newcomer, but it was certainly impactful as it helped me to quickly get on the track. My first lesson on my first day was understanding that time is – of the essence in the news media industry. That was the moment I realised that now I have entered the game and need to adjust myself to the pace.
My tasks in Malaysiakini were varied. My daily routine tasks consisted of managing social media platforms where I would be publishing the approved news in the portal’s various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. In addition, I was also required to reschedule previous news to make sure the page always updates with the news feed and design the thumbnails.
Besides these daily tasks, producers at KiniTV assigned me to translate soundbites, transcript recordings of the press conferences or live interviews, edit news packages and record voice over for news packages. I felt overwhelmed at first, especially when producers from different language departments assigned me tasks simultaneously. The challenge was, however, to complete the tasks within a limited time. There were stressful times when I had to work all alone at home, added with the difficulty of establishing communication with my colleagues who were also extremely occupied.
Fortunately, my colleagues were friendly and helpful. I was lucky enough to make friends with other interns who started their internship a few months earlier than me. We would discuss the problems we faced in the WhatsApp group and help each other when we encountered difficulties. Furthermore, other colleagues were extremely patient and friendly to me too. Whenever I asked them a question, they would explain patiently and teach me useful tips. I am also thankful to producers who believed in me and gave me the opportunities to try different assignments. Although I was unable to cover outdoor news, I had exposure to multiple tasks. I learnt a lot of useful skills and their excellent work attitude and ethics. I am truly inspired by my colleagues’ enthusiasm toward news and reporting the truth and I think this internship experience is priceless.