Masters journalism student Alfred Chan seized his chance to enjoy a successful internship at The Age newspaper. Alfred shares his views on why journalism is one of the best jobs in the world.
Interning at The Age’s newsroom was wonderful experience which opened my eyes to the ups and downs of journalism.
It provided me with the opportunity to work with some of Australia’s most decorated journalists and editors, while getting on-the-job experience beyond anything than can be achieved in a classroom.
During my 10-day internship, I was given the opportunity to source and develop my own stories whilst also given leads from the news desk to follow-up and report on.
Taking into account my past experience, I was also given the opportunity to work with the sports desk where I was given the opportunity to attend and report press conferences with high-profile athletes.
Getting the chance to meet and interview Chris Scott, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Brad Hodge, Victoria Azarenka reaffirmed my belief that being a sports journalist is one of the best jobs in the world.
Going into the internship, my experience in reporting sport would be useful but I made the conscious decision to expand into other areas of news.
I got that chance in probably the last place I would have expected – health.
One afternoon while dilly-dallying on Twitter looking for a story, I came across a press release by the department of health regarding a measles alert.
Noticing it had slipped past the news desk’s attention, I alerted an editor and traced it back to the Philippines.
Like any newsroom, it wasn’t all fun and games and it was good to see a few slow news days to learn what professional journalists do when not much is happening.
The surprising amount of social media shares and comments a story about Melbourne taxi fares achieved showed me how different my perception of news can be from others.
One of the many highlights of the fortnight was being asked to report on breaking news, as it happened from the scene.
After the news desk received a tip about protesters picketing in Collingwood, I don’t think even the editors expected the event to transpire into a story which rival newspapers would run on their front page the next day.
As the first reporter on the scene, I witnessed police engaging with protesters and the Alexandra Parade roadblock.
I was subsequently amazed by how other news outlets dramatised the event in their reports. I learned a crucial lesson about journalistic integrity.
The internship ended with mixed feelings. While investigating the measles scare earlier in the week, a source alerted me to declining immunisation rates against measles and I decided to investigate further.
I got in contact with a few people at the centre of the issue and started writing a feature on alarming statistics I had uncovered about the increasing amount of Melbourne parents opting not to vaccinate their children.
I was informed there was a lot of interest in the story and the editors would like to run it in The Sunday Age and my eyes lit up.
After writing the feature-length story with expert sources, graphic quotes and sending a photographer out to capture the accompanying image I had envisioned, I was surprised by the editing of the story to remove critical information and quotes yet still pleased to see The Sunday Age run it on page two.
Being such a controversial issue and knowing so when I wrote it, I knew there would be backlash despite being filed as a balanced story.
When working in the public space, it came as no surprise that backlash ensued from activist groups on both sides of the issue through social media but the debate was ignited and people were engaging in serious discussions.
To have achieved 15 by-lines and three taglines published by The Age in both print and online media were a pleasant reward.
While it may have been easy to sit around and wait for a lead, these internships are really what the intern makes of them.
I have previously completed internships in other fields where a program is set in place but due to the frenetic action of a newsroom, such structure is not possible which was why it worked out so well.
Rather than being shown what they want you to see, The Age provided a transparent view of life as a journalist and that is something no textbook or classroom will teach me.
I greatly appreciate Monash journalism’s efforts in maintaining good relationships with Melbourne’s newspapers to give Monash students the wonderful experience I had with The Age and look forward to the next one.
Jenan Taylor wins Student Journalist of the Year
Monash University’s Jenan Taylor has won the Melbourne Press Club’s 2014 Student Journalist of the … Continue reading Jenan Taylor wins Student Journalist of the Year
Jonno’s journey to the TV newsroom
Monash journalism graduate Jonno Nash has made the transition from one of the best print and … Continue reading Jonno’s journey to the TV newsroom
Masters journalism students named as Quill finalists
MONASH University Master of Journalism students, Jenan Taylor and Tiffany Korssen, have been named finalists … Continue reading Masters journalism students named as Quill finalists
Where are the women in radio?
Monash journalism Honours graduate Emma Nobel has produced an intriguing radio documentary, Where are the … Continue reading Where are the women in radio?
Alana awarded Pulliam Journalism Fellowship
Monash journalism student Alana Mitchelson has been awarded the Pulliam Journalism Fellowship at the Indy … Continue reading Alana awarded Pulliam Journalism Fellowship
Aaron’s hard yards pay off with Cricket Australia gig
Monash University journalism graduate Aaron Pereira has secured a full-time job at Cricket Australia, working … Continue reading Aaron’s hard yards pay off with Cricket Australia gig
Holly wins 2014 Walkley Student Journalist of the Year
Monash University’s journalism graduate Holly Humphreys has won the 2014 Walkley Student Journalist of the Year. … Continue reading Holly wins 2014 Walkley Student Journalist of the Year
Monash graduates recognised in young Walkleys
By Todd Shilton Two Monash University journalism graduates are finalists in the prestigious Walkley Young … Continue reading Monash graduates recognised in young Walkleys
Students retrace the steps of World War I Diggers
Monash journalism students are retracing the footsteps of Australian soldiers as part of the Herald … Continue reading Students retrace the steps of World War I Diggers
Arielle’s world-desk post in Jakarta
Monash University journalism student Arielle Milecki won selection to participate in ACICIS’s Journalism Practicum Placement in … Continue reading Arielle’s world-desk post in Jakarta
Hands-on journalism experience the key
Monash University journalism graduate Alexandra Bathman still can’t believe she has landed a job she … Continue reading Hands-on journalism experience the key
Sheahan looks to a brave new world in journalism
Leading sports journalist Mike Sheahan, in a lively Q&A session with Monash journalism students, predicts … Continue reading Sheahan looks to a brave new world in journalism