Keep it Simple
may be on a full scholarship to Harvard, be an award-winning writer/scientist
and an Olympic medallist,
but when it comes to earning respect in the workplace, humility
most newsrooms, the most valued workers are those who have considerable
experience in the business. As an intern, your real-world experience
is obviously limited.
Dress Codes: Gauge
Dress codes vary from place to place. The openness of the newsroom,
the length and off-hour qualities of shifts and the sedentary
nature of many newsroom jobs generally encourage a business-casual
In many news atmospheres, jeans, khakis and collared shirts
are acceptable attire. In some offices, however, ties and jackets
are mandatory for men and dressy slacks or skirts and blouses
are standard for women. Prior to your first day, check with
your inter-office contact to get an idea of what to wear, and
remember that it is better to overdress than
to underdress for the first day of work.
There is nothing wrong with wearing clothing that conveys a
sense of personal style. However, you should not compromise
your own credibility in the workplace by wearing outfits that
are too risqué.
The Name Game: Get Names Straight
People appreciate when you remember their names. You should
make it a priority to get to know people's names as soon as
possible after arriving on the job. If you are lucky, you will
be brought around the newsroom on your first day and introduced
to your co-workers.
Although this is a useful way to get to know who people are
right away, it may also present problems when you later forget
names. Do not feel awkward about politely asking people their
names for a second time. As a newcomer, you face the daunting
task of getting to know the entire staff. They, however, only
have to remember one new name: yours.
The quicker you get to know the people around you, the sooner
you will understand what they do and how the newsroom operates.
If possible, obtain a staff list from a news assistant. Most
newsrooms keep updated lists of staff members' names, phone
numbers, pager numbers and addresses so managers can contact
employees during news emergencies. Shortly after meeting people,
review the list and memorize their first and last names. If
you take a bus or train, bring the list with you and review
it on the ride to and from work.