Converting to Broadcast at WAMU 88.5

By Dean’s Intern Kristen Griffith at WAMU

Kristin Griffith

Kojo In Your Community
“No One Feels Safe”: How Gun Violence Affects Local Students
March 20, 2018

I entered the WAMU 88.5 newsroom internship not knowing how to work the recorder, edit audio or write for a radio listener.  I’m a journalism graduate student with an investigative specialty – I mostly knew about writing for the eye rather than the ear. But after advice and patience from my editors, I’m ending the semester with more broadcast experience than I expected.

I underestimated the challenges a radio reporter faces. It’s like shoving a 500-word article into a minute-long audio story. My editors taught me how to choose what the listener wants to hear and how they want to hear it.

They also taught me how to use my voice on the air. I couldn’t sound like I was reading a script – although that’s exactly what I was doing – I had to sound like I was having a casual conversation.

What I liked most about the internship is being treated as a colleague rather than an intern. I had the same responsibilities as the other reporters – like reporting, writing and voicing before the deadline later that day.

It’s hard work, but after I get a chance to breathe, I feel like a stronger journalist.

I’m grateful for the opportunities WAMU gave me. I interviewed a 109-year-old who hangs out with the Harlem Globetrotters, 12-year-olds interested in STEM and Howard University students who held the longest protest in the school’s history.

I’m sad the internship is ending but I’m excited to use my experience and new skills in the future.