My first days interning at Thomson Reuters

Bonjour from my office in Brussels, Belgium!

For those of you who do not know, I am interning at Thomson Reuters in the Brussels location TV department this summer. I know you all want to believe that I am spending my days eating waffles while wandering Europe, but with my internship and classes, I am really working most of the time.

My friends in journalism feel free to skip to the next paragraph because I am going to assume that you know what Thomson Reuters is (or at least, you probably should), but for those of you who don’t, I’ll explain a little about the company. Reuters is a news agency that provides content in over 100 countries and has over 600,000 employees across the world. What Reuters does is it sells their stories to news companies all around the world. For example, a story that our branch did last week was bought and used by BBC, CNN, etc.

I started my internship Wednesday and the first thing that we did was took a tour of the office, met our co-workers and got our workstations set-up. Then, we filled out information to send a media press pass request to the European Commission. However, before we could finish filing the request, there was breaking news and Haley and I (my friend that is also interning with me at Reuters) got to tag-along with the cameraman and reporter.

My boss saw a tweet that flights out of Brussels airport were cancelled, due to technical issues. So we grabbed the equipment and went to check it out. As soon as we got there, they got straight to work. The cameras are the same as the ones I use at KOMU, which I am excited about because Jan (the cameraman) seems to be a videography genius and I think I will learn a lot from him. He sets up shots so quickly and is constantly thinking in sequence (sorry if this post gets a little journalism nerdy). I just watched his ability to scan the room and think about every sequence that is necessary to tell the story. He used the tripod for most shots, but he also wasn’t afraid to crawl on the floor to get a good angle. One thing that I thought was great was that he got a lot of close-up facial reaction shots from passengers as they looked up at the board of all the flight cancellations.

Clement was the one conducting the interviews and writing the script and I also learned a lot from him. Reuters has a long stick mic, so they don’t have to tell people to run the mic up their shirt to hide the wires. This and the fact that there were two people working on the story allowed Clement to approach people as they were in line to figure out how to get to their end destinations, so he was able to get their initial reactions instead of giving them time to think about what they are going to say. That allowed for some more real and emotion-filled sound bites (they call them vox-pops).

They sat at a table after everything and Clement scripted in iNews while Yan cut the clips in Edius. Since this is a news agency and not station, they cut video into sequences and sound-bites that are longer so that news stations can use whatever video they please and can put it to the script that they write. So what does a news agency script look like then? The script is a shot list that describes the action in the shot or quotes the sound bite. Then underneath the shot list, they write the web story so that Reuters customers know what the story is about and can use that to write their own script. (Hopefully, this is making sense).

Anyway, when we got back we read some European news.

The next day of work, we did a lot of research about TTIP (an EU-US trade agreement) that will be making many headlines in June, the battle at Waterloo since the centennial anniversary is in June and about the Greek debt crisis, since we will also do many stories on that.

The next day at work, we watched the mid-day European Council press briefing and took notes and wrote down time codes of good sound bites (vox-pops). After lunch, we went to the European Council to get our press passes. I’m not going to lie, that made me feel pretty important.

Today is Monday and we really didn’t do very much at work today. We updated the big whiteboard with June’s calendar of events and watched the European Council mid-day briefings. We also looked over some stories from our co-workers because they like to make sure their translations to English make sense.

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A resolution for all college students: stay updated on current events

It’s the time of year that everyone starts posting about their New Years Resolutions. Well I have a New Years Solution that all college students should have. Stay updated about current events.

Obviously I work in news and study political science as well, so I have an interest in what is going on in the world around me, but most college students do not. Earlier this year, I was proud to wear my “I Voted” sticker around campus, but almost nobody my age had voted. When talking to friends about voting, many of them either did not know that it was time to vote or they felt that they did not know enough about the issues to go vote.

Most college students prefer the “ignorance is bliss” approach. They do not have full-time jobs and they feel that a lot of things in the news do not affect them. It makes me sad that people think like this because current events DO affect you and I hope you will take the time to listen to my reasons why things going on in the world should be of importance to you.

  • Local News- You should pay attention to local news because this is what is going on at your back door.
    • There were shots fired at my apartment complex last semester and I was informed by a tweet from a local news station. My apartment complex tried to keep the incident quiet and did not inform their residence that a shooting occurred in my back yard! Sometimes local news has EVERYTHING to do with you.
    • They recently lowered the speed limits in Columbia on parts of I-70. As many students return to Mizzou today, I will not be one bit surprised if people get speeding tickets because they were unaware of the change. The news station that I worked at talked about it multiple times on the news and all of our social media platforms. It’s as simple as reading a few tweets to save yourself from ignorance.
  • National News- National news stories are big for a reason. They directly affect a lot of people.
    • It’s important to watch, read or listen to national news every once in a while too because these are the biggest stories in the country. They are big for a reason and that reason is that they are something many people need to know or have interest in. I don’t know about you, but I would like to know about new laws Congress passes and big natural disasters and new technology that emerges and all of the stuff that you see on national news. It’s national news because it is BIG news.
  • International News
    • This is the area that I notice people my age paying the least attention to because they do not see how it relates to their everyday lives. However, it does.
    • There was recently a terror attack in Paris. If you do not know about it, I suggest reading about it for a few minutes because it is important. Obviously we do not live in Paris, so many people don’t understand why they should care. The reason is that attacks like this are happening all over the world. Nowhere is safe and anywhere could be next. Just because it did not happen to you does not mean that it couldn’t. Our military is all over the world fighting against organizations like ISIS to PROTECT you. If you you do not feel like anything like that could happen to you then just think about the Boston Bombing or 9/11. It CAN happen to anyone anywhere at anytime.
    • If for no other reason, watch the national news to find out what exactly our soldiers are fighting and risking their lives for. Find out about the grave injustices going on around the world in order to be more grateful for the opportunities that you have.

Journalism Is Changing, Not Dying

Is_Newspaper_A_Dying_Medium

This is my first week of the new semester and in my Journalism 1100 class we talked about how many people believe that journalism is a dying industry.  I can understand why some people feel this way, but they are thinking in a narrow view.  Journalism is not dead, it is just changing form.  Sure the print media may be slowing down and the traditional nightly news is becoming a little old fashion.  That is because these outlets are simply not keeping up with the times.

I think it is great that my professor is very young because he was going through all of his first steps in journalism during this changing system.  He really opened my eyes that you do not have to limit yourself in this field because there are so many possibilities.  For the longest time I have wanted to be a news anchor and I knew that it was not an easy job to snag.  Although that is still a dream of mine I have realized so many things since I have come to school.

I have always been passionate about English and writing which is what first led me to join newspaper in high school.  Creating this blog helped me rekindle my love for critically thinking about the world and writing down my take on so many different interests that I have.  I truly can see my career going in so many different directions and I think that is the way upcoming journalists need to think.

Some industries are dying, but with the rise of the internet age there are so many more opportunities to get your voice heard.  I truly believe that my generation of journalists are going to reinvent something that Americans seem to be losing faith in.