My summer at KIRO
September 21, 2012
This summer I had the exciting opportunity to intern at the KIRO-7 local news station, and see the inner workings of the station and their website. I had always been interested in anything television and saw this as a great introduction to it, especially with the behind-the-scenes workings.
My title was “social media and digital intern” so going into this internship I had very little idea of what exactly I would be doing. My mentor, Paul, had never had an intern, but he wanted to give me as many opportunities as possible to help with the website and their social media outlets.
To be as helpful as possible, I needed to learn every program they used. So with a quick two-day lesson I learned Medley (program to add content to the website), AVID news cutter (program to cut and edit video), Brightcove (program to upload video to the website), iNews (information source for news stories), and Photoshop Edit. I felt so fortunate to learn all these programs and gaining all this knowledge from this internship, and it was just my first day!
I went to the station four days a week for three hours a day for the whole summer, and each day those three hours flew by. On an average day, I would update KIRO’s Pinterest and Instagram accounts, and look into iNews to see what stories I could write before the newscast. If there wasn’t much to write I would ask the web staff if there were various tasks I could help them with, like finishing a story or finding a picture. During the newscast, I would ask Paul what videos he needed for the website from the show and at the same time I would cut pictures from the video to go with the article. This was a very important task because Paul wanted video from the show immediately after it was on TV, and with my help it made the process much smoother.
A project that I created for myself at KIRO was working with their Instagram account. My second day there I asked Paul a ton of questions about their social media presence and what kind of outlets they were using. He was very kind in answering all my questions, but when I asked about Instagram he said they had one but it doesn’t get updated very often. I took it upon myself to look up KIRO’s account and sure enough they had an account, with nearly 1,500 followers! Knowing this, I asked if I could update it daily and Paul was thrilled to have someone work on it. Throughout the summer I worked hard on finding captivating images that people would ‘like’ on Instagram and made it my own project. Because of my updates I brought in over 100 more followers and daily activity to the KIRO account; Paul was very pleased, to say the least.
KIRO’s Facebook and Twitter accounts are their key outlets on the web (aside from the website) so I was shown how they work, their strict rules for posting and what they look for in posts. I would pitch ideas to Paul for Facebook posts and he would decide to use them or not. One Facebook post I got to create was about naming the next Washington State ferry boat. It wasn’t anything big, but Paul loved the idea and it brought a lot of activity to the page, so I was proud.
From this experience I learned to ask questions, be assertive and be curious because without those qualities my internship would have been completely different. I wouldn’t have found out about their Instagram account, I wouldn’t have posted anything to their Facebook, and I might have not gotten the internship in the first place.
I cannot express how important I believe internships are. Without my past internships in the Department of Communication and Master of Communication in Digital Media (MCDM), I know I wouldn’t have gotten this internship with KIRO. My mentor told me he was impressed by them and said that was one of the reasons they wanted me. I truly believe any opportunities through internships will benefit you, either through getting another internship, adding the experience to your resume, or even getting a job in the future.