The best feedback an intern could receive
Are you on the Takoma Park beat? Will you be writing all these stories?”
I had no idea I was speaking to an intern.”
When I first contact a source for a story, I usually don’t tell them I’m interning.
I don’t consider it lying. I get better responses if I act as a professional journalist. When I told sources in the past that I was a student or intern, they often refused to speak with me or answer my questions fully. So in order to report accurately and completely, I just don’t tell them I’m an intern.
I email or call a source and explain that I’m reporting for The Gazette, or my past internships, and continue to interview them. Most times, the interview goes well. I get the information and quotes I need for my story and I thank the source.
Sometimes, a source will ask if I’m on the Takoma Park or Silver Spring beat. If I’ll be covering stories like the one I interviewed them for. If they should contact me with story ideas.
Sometimes a story has a long life, and reporters continue to write about an ongoing process for several articles. I am working on a few of those stories now at The Gazette. Sources tell me who I can get in contact with months in the future, and I tell them thank you, take down the contacts, and explain that I won’t be the reporter contacting them for future stories.
I’m a summer intern, I say.
They’ll ask me where I attend school, wish me luck, and sometimes give me props because they didn’t know they were talking to an intern. As a dedicated intern, that is some of the best feedback I could ever receive!