Posted by: mindyrappoport | 06/06/2011

My first week at the Boulder Weekly

And what a week it was.

After five months abroad in Barcelona, Spain, I’ll admit, I was nervous to jump back into the journalism scene. For as long as I can remember, I have had a passion for journalism, and my confidence in my ability to write and report well over the last seven years that I have been involved in and learning about this industry has never wavered. However, after five months in another country where my primary focuses were becoming fluent in another language and learning about another country’s history, culture and art, I knew I would probably be a little rusty during my first week interning at the Boulder Weekly.

To give those of you who I haven’t told what I’m up to this summer some background, I’m taking Reporting 3 through CU’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication this summer. The class, which is three credits, is a requirement for all news-editorial graduates. One component of the class is an internship at a publication, which, in my case, is the Boulder Weekly. As a Boulder Weekly intern, I’ll be in the office 16 hours a week doing everything from copy editing to writing cuisine stories and briefs. In addition to the internship, I have created this blog to chronicle my experience at the Weekly and post class assignments for Reporting 3.

My first week was definitely an exciting one. On my first day, after meeting everyone and touring the office, I wrote two briefs about Walk and Bike Month and Xcel Energy’s two-tiered summer electricity rate that were published both online and in this week’s edition. That day, I also learned how to sort through the email where we receive press releases and distinguish between junk mail and press releases that I should follow up on and turn into briefs, and copy edited a bit. The next day was Wednesday, or the day before the new edition of the Boulder Weekly is available for free for readers, so I copy edited from the moment I stepped in the office at 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.. While some people might cringe at the idea of copy editing for 4 1/2 hours, as an AP style nerd, I enjoyed every minute of it; I even got to ask my editor/internship adviser, Jeff, a few Boulder Weekly AP style questions, like whether the Weekly abbreviated “Road” in addresses even though the AP Stylebook says you should spell it out. I spent the last hour of my second day researching for my cuisine story, which will be published in the June 16 edition of the Weekly. On Thursday, I organized and cleared out the email account and worked on a tidbite, or cuisine brief, before heading to the Armory to meet with the other interns and editors about AP style and Boulder Weekly style.

I have always been a perfectionist when it comes to writing, and in the past, my perfectionism had me constantly rewriting and editing sentences as I slowly pieced together a story. Over the last two years, I have learned how to produce quality work while increasing the speed at which I write (and complete) stories, but after a five-month long break (during which my only exposure to writing was in class and by keeping a travel blog), I’m a little rusty. However, I know that over the next few weeks, I’ll get my momentum going again just like before. I’m really excited to be at the Boulder Weekly; everyone was so friendly and helpful during my first week. I’m looking forward to working hard, publishing stories, copy editing, and proving myself over these next seven weeks. I can already tell that this internship going to be a great experience.

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