For those of you that are not familiar with international politics, Europe is in a mass of chaos right now and it is our jobs as journalists to make some sense of everything and report it to the world. For those of you who have not been keeping up with my travels abroad, I am interning at Thomson Reuters in the TV department. Essentially what we do is report all of the big international news and we sell our videos and stories to other news stations and newspapers, etc.
Greece is currently in an economic crisis and they need to repay the IMF (International Monetary Fund) by June 30 or they will face default and potentially get kicked out of the EuroZone (but nobody actually seems to want that to happen). Basically, as the deadline approaches, our job as journalists is to keep up with the progress of the negotiations. The entire world has their eye on Greece right now.
This week, I reported for a meeting between President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, President of the European Council Donald Tusk and Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem. We waited by the main entrance to get video of them arriving and leaving and I held the microphone and attempted ambush-like interviews. Not everyone came in the main entrance. but I interviewed Donald Tusk and Jereon Dijsselbloem. Now, they did not want to say much, but it was still very cool.
I got to go to Luxembourg this week for the Eurogroup meeting. We left on Wednesday night and went straight to work on Thursday morning. I covered the arrival of Christine Lagarde from the IMF. When she was in a meeting, we set up the live shot for the press conference. She mostly spoke in French, but I finally asked if she could repeat what she said in English also. (Many journalists were happy about that and we needed an English sound bite for our customers anyway). She essentially said that the IMF will not consider an extension and that Greece will face default if they do not make the repayment by the end of the month. She also criticized Greece for not reforming their pension plan. Our video can be found on all kinds of media sites, but here is one example!
Then, I went to the Eurogroup meeting where I held the microphone at the departures. Some of the Finance Ministers held press conferences that other coworkers covered, but some talked to me on the way out. It is a bit intimidating to say the least to be working with the world’s best journalists and interviewing such influential people. It’s especially intimidating to talk to the big names such as Greece’s Minister of Finance (since he is so important in the news right now), but the skills that I have learned at KOMU and in the J-School honestly have prepared me. I just have to calm my nerves and have faith in my reporting skills (easier said than done).
Basically, my internship is so much work. I am constantly working more hours than everyone and at weird times. I am almost never able to attend class and I had to take an exam the day before everyone else via Skype. Honestly, my days are long and exhausting. I am working harder than ever before. But at the end of the day, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. I am working for the world’s largest news agency in the most politically important city at such a critical time. All of that makes the hard work worth it.