I dream of becoming a foreign affairs reporter. I came to China to get my first glimpse at what it is like to report in a country with a different language and different press regulations. My journalism internship at an online media publication, has given me the opportunity to do so.
Every morning, I am tasked with reading Shanghai’s newspapers to know what is going on in the city. I write short bites of major news stories and they are published at the end of the day to WeChat subscribers; Instead of having to read 5 different long news articles, subscribers can get a quick update. I also write articles and I research on the assigned topic, explore the city, and gain a new insight about Shanghai city life.
This is the daily routine, but it is one that will get interrupted when there is breaking news. I was given the chance to report the explosion at the Pudong International Airport. It’s one of those moments where I am so concentrated into the task at hand that I can forget about everything around me; It’s the adrenaline to be the first to publish, but with a critical need to get every detail right.
In journalism school, I learn the rules, the guidelines, the ethics, and practice my writing. It’s putting these lessons into practice when I can start to learn about myself. I start becoming aware of my strengths and weaknesses. There is certainly one realization I can take from this internship. Writing about the explosion was one of those moments where I have no doubt that I want to pursue journalism.
I want to report for an American audience and give insights about bits and pieces of the world. Shanghai taught me a valuable lesson though. I must really research, immerse and adapt in a country before I can begin to understand the culture and why things happen or don’t happen. An open mentality can help me get there.