A broadcasting internship can help students and others obtain hands-on experience in working on the air or behind the scenes at a television or radio station. Broadcasting internships can cover career fields in virtually all aspects of a student-run or professional broadcasting company. Some of the more traditional broadcasting internships involve news gathering and reporting, producing broadcasts, working on an assignment desk, and shooting and editing video. Some of the same internships are available for online broadcasting efforts.
Possible broadcasting internships for those who work behind the scenes are producers, production assistants and news editors. As a producer, one can expect to learn how to plan programs and develop scripts; technical aspects of shows, such as lighting and sound, also may play a role in the internship. A production assistant handles administrative details for a producer, including coordinating and organizing any sound or written materials that are required.
Technical broadcasting internships can include working solely with lighting or sound. Television stations — and some websites — also employ video camera operators who work in the studio or go out in public to shoot video. Some of these roles also require learning how to edit video.
Broadcasting internships for news directors often require coordinating the placement of stories or reports filed by reporters. An internship in this area also can include assignment editing. An assignment editor assigns stories to reporters and also might be responsible for dispatching a news team to cover an event or breaking news.
General assignment reporting is a type of internship that requires gathering and reporting on a variety of topics for television or radio stations. There is no one set topic the reporter covers. In a professional setting, this might involve gathering background information or verifying facts in stories written by full-time staff members.
Other broadcasting internships may require at least the basics of specialized skills. Sports reporting is just one example. These interns might gather or verify scores and other information. They also might be responsible for covering actual sporting events or news related to local teams. An above-average knowledge of sports, ranging from local teams to the professional level, will likely help with this.
Weather reporting is another type of broadcasting internship. These interns usually are meteorology majors with the ability to write and report stories about the weather. Internships in this area can provide a significant amount of hands-on experience in operating weather graphics systems and interpreting radar displays.
Some journalists aspire to land broadcasting internships as announcers for television or the radio. Many of these internships are available through student-run radio or television stations on college campuses. Once some experience is gained at the amateur or student level, it might be possible to move into a professional setting.
Students can find broadcasting internships within their colleges or their high school, if such programs are offered. Internships with professional radio and television companies are generally more competitive. Both amateur and professional settings may offer paid and unpaid internships. Some also allow students to obtain college credit that can be applied toward a degree.
Internships are generally reserved for current students or very recent graduates. They are often organized through colleges and, in some cases, high schools. Internships offer students a chance to see if they like a job before taking a full-time job, while businesses get a trial run on talented potentially future employees. In some cases, companies also might offer internships to older workers looking to make a career change.