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Intern Blog

Sunday 15 September 2019

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Diamond Fisher, VOA Intern

I have been on a long journey with Voice of America and have made lasting friendships and connections. I initially started in the summer of 2018 working on graphics in the Latin American (LATAM) division. In the brief time that I was with graphics, I was able to exhibit a combination of speed and accuracy that enabled me to produce a high volume of work while maintaining excellent standards for quality. I learned quickly and created broadcast and web content that aired to audiences in the Latin American region. I maintained a high level of professionalism and pursued opportunities to expand my skill set and involvement in many technical areas, this is also how I made my move into the public relations department for the fall.

During my time in public relations, I edited and created evergreen social media content, identified and catalogued diaspora media outlets throughout the U.S., researched and wrote copy for the 2020 VOA calendar (theme: national historical parks), participated in biweekly department meetings and other project planning sessions, and met some great people. Most importantly, I joined the tour guide cadre after just a couple of weeks of training and offered tours to visitors from the U.S. and overseas interested in learning more about this unique federal agency. The work I did for VOA public relations ensured that no matter, there was content that could be posted, whether it be during busy days or holidays. Some of the content I created will still be used even after I've left. I feel accomplished in the fact that I allowed my supervisors to focus on their many different and demanding tasks while I served as another resource that could take over tasks if they had to move to another project.

The most intriguing thing about VOA to me is that a number of people from all corners of the world and walks of life enter the Cohen building, the work never stops at VOA, it is home to many influential individuals who work hard at their jobs. I respect the impact VOA has and am amazed at just the number of people that tune in worldwide each week. I am grateful to have received the chance to learn and increase new abilities that are transferable to any profession I pursue in the future.

Without the support of the LATAM and Public Relations team, I would not have had the wonderful experience that I did. I am grateful for my time with Voice of America, as it was invaluable and I hope I genuinely had a positive impact on those I interacted with as well.

VOA Intern, John Saleh

Although I have been working as a journalist and have been gaining much journalism experience through working with MBN’s “Alhurra TV”, I always had the desire to be part of the VOA team and to know more about Voice of America and how it works. So I decided to apply for an internship at VOA to improve my journalism skills and to understand the process of VOA radio, TV, production, communication, social media, and news writing.

Through the internship program, I learned many new things and got experience in professional journalism elements such as radio production, news writing, editing, researching, and how to prepare news reports. I also worked on TV productions and I experienced how studio teams are working on their program and in the newsroom.

The learning opportunities at VOA were very useful and helped me to improve my skills in radio and television work. My internship included classes and workshops like tours through the VOA studios and the control rooms, investigative reporting workshops, career days, DALET Plus and DALET RSHD training, DP Web Space training, an introduction to radio, Drone Journalism, Copyrights, and News feed usage, producer training, and Radio Suite training.

During my internship, I spent a month at the Kurdish Language Service and I worked on Kurdish TV and radio programs. In my opinion, it was really amazing and will be very useful in helping me reach my goals as a journalist. My team was very accommodating and made me feel like a real part of the team. My coworkers are professional journalists who work on serious tasks involving great responsibility.

While interning at VOA I have also been a student in the Executive Masters in International Relations Program at the Syracuse University’s Maxwell School in Washington DC. As a student I learned about public diplomacy and how American diplomacy is making the policy and strategy to communicate with other countries under an International Relations umbrella. Throughout my internship, I had the chance to experience VOA’s work in telling America’s story.

In my opinion, VOA’s internship program provides a valuable opportunity to develop journalistic skills and to learn about VOA’s important role as a platform for free expression and an independent and professional press. This internship strengthened my own journalistic skills and provided me with a deep insight into VOA’s work and the world of professional journalism. I worked with a talented and kind team on serious and important tasks and I wished I had more time for my internship at VOA.

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