Internship Experience @ The Hindu, Chennai: Work in the Reporting Team, Learned New Skills

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Your Name, College, Year of Study, Email ID

Gayatri Viswanathan, Symbiosis Law School, Pune, 1st Year

Name of Organisation, Location city, Team Strength

The Hindu, Chennai

Application Process with contact details

I called up their Chennai office and asked for the process to apply.

The Editorial Admin asked me to send across my CV.

I was told it would take a week for them to get back to me.

Duration of internship and timings

November 20, 2016 – Nov 30, 2016

Reporting time – 11 AM. My day got over whenever I done covering the events for the day.

First impression, first day formalities, infrastructure

On the first day, I met the Editorial Admin who then took me to the Editor. After a brief chat, I was asked which department I would like to work with.

Thereafter, I was asked to work with the head of the reporting team.

On the day I joined, I was asked to cover the arrest and summoning of the controversial S Madhan, from the medical seat scam in Saidapet Courthouse.

On day 1, I logged into the register in the Editorial Admin’s office and was to sign there everyday.

The main building, Kasturi & Sons, Mount Road is easily navigable. The layout is reminiscent of old newspaper publishing houses.

TOI in Mumbai has similar labyrinths and walls which had framed first pages of the newspapers printed on important days eg. Indian independence, Indo-Pak war, death of Subbulakshmi, Indira Gandhi etc.

Main tasks

I was assigned tasks on a daily basis which were events I had to cover.

I had to file a report for each event I covered.

  1. Covered the talk by Haben Girma in Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai
  2. Covered the FICCI conference on Reforming and Rejuvenating Higher Education at Hilton, Chennai
  3. Covered the presentation of S Madhan (SRM Medical Seat Scam) before the Magistrate at Saidapet Court, Chennai
  4. Covered the program for Organ Donation Week at TN Government Multi Super Specialty Hospital, Chennai

Work environment and people

People were approachable and helpful.

I was asked by one of the reporters for a little help in the story she was covering, which was rather surprising.

Apart from my boss who was extremely busy all the time, everyone else on the team was kind and helpful.

Best things

I got to cover the talk by Haben Girma, Disabilities Rights Advocate and interview her afterwards.

When covering events, I told the managers/co-ordinators that I was reporting on behalf of the Hindu and that always got me preferential treatment.

It was a dizzying experience which is new to me despite having written for another national daily in the past.

Since I was new to the city, I got to see a lot of places because I travelled everyday to cover events.

I learnt the public transit routes and was able to find my way around the town by the second day. Thanks to Google Maps.

And, of course, getting published in The Hindu was quite amazing.

Bad things

There was no stipend and no remuneration for the travel.

I had to cut short my three-week internship because I slipped on the stairs in my hostel. I returned from Chennai because I couldn’t walk or cover events while my leg was in a cast.

Stipend

None

Biggest Lessons

I learnt how to travel alone and get around to new places.

I saw how extensive research and proper reporting skills help in writing a good report.

I also learnt that I should wear my glasses when walking down the stairs.

Accommodation

I lived in a hostel opposite Stella Maris College called Saundarya.

It was a minute away from the bus stop which had a direct bus to Dams Road, which was walking distance from the office.

Office Timings 

The reporting team generally comes in by 11 AM. I was done with the day depending on when my events for the day were.

Sometimes, I got free by afternoon and on other days, it was late evening when I got to go back to my room.

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