And this is how I spent my summer of 2012……..Interning for Rappler.com! For those who are unfamiliar, Rappler.com is a rising social news network operated by veteran journalists and reporters who came from different networks. I think Rappler is pretty revolutionary in its own, and I was glad that even for just a little time, I became part of their team. This is my re-telling.
Each gift is uniquely delightful in its own special way but what Rappler wrapped up for me is an entirely different present altogether; something you can take it with you wherever you go, whoever you meet, whatever you do.
Before my fateful internship for Rappler, I was basically spending the whole summer in a silent monologue with myself if I am really that capable of being a journalist, or in essence, a writer.I never doubt my love for writing, which had been with me as long as I can remember. It’s how I live up to it that I was very concerned about. Writing is a craft that I longed to use to transform other peoples’ lives, and had been one of my biggest frustrations ever since.
All that changed when my blockmate recommended me to be part of the internship program. I confessed that I took it to escape from boredom brought upon by the summer air of restlessness, but little do I know that Rappler has something big in store for me.
Chronicling the experience
First week is all about research, research and RESEARCH. Other tasks include transcribing, tabulating, data-mapping, and believe it or not, adding sums for incomplete data entries. This may not sound promising but the experience taught me a lot. One, patience is not only a virtue, or a policy. It’s an art. Two, a good soundbyte for a 20 minute transcription is worth the wait and exhaustion. Three, government websites are the most colourful corners in the net, complete with cute text animations and flashy display of colors. I would be happier if some of them could be updated though.
During the 2nd week, I had my first profile article. It was a great experience for me; I got to meet new people at different kinds of places and just talk to them casually. I never felt the duty of having to get important information from them for my story. As long as you listen earnestly for their say like an enraptured kid for a bedtime story, you get into somewhere. One lesson I learned: People are not what they seem. Just like a lake, you wouldn’t know how deep they are just by staring them then judging them right away.
3rd week is where I finally had the chance to cover events and media invitations. Here I met all kinds of people working on the same industry, writers, bloggers, editors and some VIPs here and there. I learned to do things I never thought I can do before. True, my guts were tested and I have to squeeze every bit of street smarts I have to get a story but I felt in every coverage, every invitation, step by step I was moving away from my comfort zone to get somewhere.
My first junket trip in Bataan is the highlight of my internship days. After this, I realized what I really want to see in myself after five to ten years. I want to travel to places, experience all different things each culture of this world to offer. Best of all, I want to write about it, to share it to others and show them the beauty that mostly goes unnoticed, especially that of our country.
The last two weeks were as eventful as they go; I never even realized that the summer is ending and I need to go back to school. Gone was the bummed out, burned out old me; replaced by someone who is more confident in her reporting and writing skills. More confident in her ability to not only handle conflicts in schedules or priorities but also within herself.
What Rappler taught me
My days in Rappler are all wrapped up into one thing: Whatever you do, as tough and challenging and impossible they may be, if it is to serve the people with truth and perspective, it’s very well worth it. I realized that this is really the true essence of journalism which Rappler just elevated in a wholly different level, but the purpose remains the same. I am grateful to Rappler for reminding me that even a small and ordinary pebble like me can cause huge waves of change if I put all my heart into what I do.
And it’s one gift I shall keep for the rest of my days.