Role: Production Assistant Intern, Oregon Public Broadcasting

1.   What brought you to OPB?

Recruitment Manager Glenn Brown told me about the internship opportunity at the Public Media Village booth during the NABJ/NAHJ 2016 convention. That semester, I got more reporting opportunities at my school’s station so knew I wanted a radio internship for the summer.  I kept OPB in mind and four months later, I called Glenn to get more information. He was very helpful. I kept in touch throughout the application process, and I researched OPB as much as I could. I was offered the internship a few days after the interview.

2.   How is your internship going?

There’s a positive atmosphere but it’s also hard-working. I’ve been introduced to people on the radio and television sides, and they’ve all offered to teach me or let me shadow if I want to learn beyond what I’ve been doing. My role as a production assistant is something I’ve never done before, but it wasn’t hard to learn. I feel like I’m a part of a high quality news network and I actually get to do the same work as the full-time staff, which I know I wouldn’t get to do at a commercial network.

3.   What was your favorite part of last year's NABJ/NAHJ convention?

I loved getting to be inspired by so many great journalists. I didn’t feel like a college student; I felt like I was one of the professionals. I met so many people and it wasn’t intimidating to give them my business card and add them on LinkedIn.

4. Why is Think. Public. Media an important message?

So many people are frustrated with the media these days because they see it as “biased” or “fake news.” But with public media, people can actually give directly to their station and hold public media accountable for the content. There’s an amazing community aspect to public media which I’ve really enjoyed in my own life. I think it’s important for young graduates or undergraduates looking for a job to see public media as a great place to work for those who are seeking community.

5.   What tips do you have for attendees at this year's AAJA, NABJ, and EIJ conventions?

Break out of your comfort zone and talk to people. Not every conversation has to be about finding a job, but a regular conversation could turn into that. Keep your business card handy, and be willing to talk to people about who you are.

6.   What does your unique voice add to public media?

I’m part Hispanic, part white, which makes my position about racial issues pretty unique, especially in this political climate. I also grew up in New Mexico, which has it’s own unique culture, so I bring that experience to my perspective of Texas and Oregon politics and culture. Being a Christian isn’t as popular in Oregon as it is in Texas, so during my time at OPB I felt like I had a unique voice as a Christian.

7.   What's been the most memorable moment of your time in public media?

I work at a public radio station at my university, and each semester we have a pledge drive. We bring in guests from the community, and I’ll never forget meeting this 95-year-old woman with green hair. She was also a journalist, and she was so involved in the community. She died a few months later and people called in during the pledge drive to say nice things about her and donate in her name. It was just a really beautiful inspiration.

Follow Haley: @Haleybalee