the time you have figured out what you can and cannot wear and
can get in the building without being stopped by security, you
are probably settling into the work groove.
The professional world demands that you consistently show up
on time and ready to work. If, by some legitimate misfortune,
you find that you are going to be late,
call in to the newsdesk and let your managers know what happened
and when they can expect you. They will appreciate this extra
effort, and it will help them arrange to cover your duties until
a newsroom, deadlines are both continuous and simultaneous.
For some people, the first hour or so on the shift is their
busiest time. Because of this, you should figure out not
only what needs to get to get done, but also in what order.
Many people slip out to pick something up from the cafeteria or
outside world, bring it back to their desk and continue working.
If you feel you need a break, go for a walk outside. A good recess
can do wonders for both your mental health and your writing and
you are leaving to get food or air, you may need to let the newsdesk
know when you are leaving the office. Watch how other people in
the office handle breaks, or simply ask your editor what the policy
When Problems Arise
No workplace is a utopia. In any job, in any place, there are bound
to be some bad days and difficult periods. Problem solving, known
in corporate-speak as 'crisis management', is one of the most important
skills you can learn not only for your job, but also for your life.
management is how you handle disruptive situations
that challenge your basic assumptions and operating procedures.
example, you are used to receiving a report from an outside bureau
every day at noon. You use that report to write a daily roundup,
which your editor expects by one p.m. The wires are down, and you
can't get the report. You want to ask your boss, but he or she is
tied up on the phone and you are afraid to interrupt. What should
It is impossible to formulate an approach that can be applied to
all problems that come up. In general, you will be responding to
crises in a spontaneous and ad hoc fashion. You may ask another
manager or editor what to do, or you may place a few phone calls
to find out if you can get the report through another medium (such
as fax or e-mail), and how long it will take.
The most important things you should do are listen to your instincts
and decide how important the problem really is. There are four things
you should think about when a problem arises:
What are the elements or dimensions of the problem?
2. What degree of control do you have?
3. How much time do you have to make
4. How many options available to you?
stressful moments arise, keep your cool and, whenever possible,
ask your boss what you should do. She or he has probably seen this
problem occur countless times before.
You should also try to keep a balanced perspective about your level
of responsibility in the newsroom. Although it's easy to get caught
up in your job and to feel like the entire news operation is riding
on your shoulders, keep in mind that you are an intern. You will
rarely be given assignments that can make-or-break the newsroom
When the problem is behind you and things in the newsroom have calmed
down, ask a manager how you might have handled the situation better,
or what steps might have prevented the problem from occurring in
the first place.