The Day and Life of a Fox 13 Intern: My Experience at WHBQ-TV

While I still have about a few weeks left until the end of my internship, here is my experience and impressions working at Fox 13 so far. Since January 2012, the interns had dabbled into various departments at the station.

During my first week, I was assigned to the cameras in the studio for Good Morning Memphis. The cameramen and floor director showed me how to operate “Camera 2” such as zoom, focus, panning, and other camera techniques. In addition, I operated the teleprompter on some occasions and learned some hand signals on when to alert the anchor which camera he or she is going to turn to.

On Week 2, I was to learn to producer’s role. On those days, this intern wrote scripts for the mid-day newscast and stacked them into the rundown for the show. Also, I greeted some of the guests for Good Morning Memphis as I lead them to the studio. I also got to operate the video controls in the production studio playing the appropriate video or graphic for a given story.

For the third week, I worked with Audio and Camio (aka Chyron graphics). Along with customizing graphics, most of my time was spent on the sound board. I became familiar with the controls easily enough since I work at two radio stations. While the board looked very complicated, I learned to use it once I knew which button did what. During the newscasts, I adjusted to audio levels on video, anchors, etc.

Week 4 was the Assignment Desk. Basically we had to answer incoming phone calls and monitor the radio scanners for any nugget worth reporting. Also, I had to update some of the contact information that Fox 13 has from local authorities. Sadly, I would have to say this was the most boring part of the internship.

Finally, I went out with reporters and photographers into the 5th and 6th weeks of the internship. By far, this was one of the most interesting parts of the experience. First of all, we would meet in a room to discuss to stories then go with the reporters to cover them. Some of the stories that I went to cover dealt with the community reactions to the capture of murder suspects, gang violence in Ripley, Gov. Haslam promoting Books from Birth at the Central Library, and four Memphis schools becoming charter schools. While the majority of it was observation, I managed to take notes during the stories and even got a few standups.

Judging from the overall experience, the internship at WHBQ has been decent. I would have rather to have focused on one department rather on multiple areas. It’s better to be proficient in one area than have little experience in all, but at least I got a little taste of what each area is like. Also, there have been a few times where there was nothing to be done during the 5-hour shift and there was not anything to do for roughly an hour or two. There has been some hands-on experience but not as much as I would have liked.

If I had to choose, I would like either production or audio (yeah, I am a little biased on that area).


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