Senior mass communication major interns with news station

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Photo by: Melissa Rollins

Holden sets up and prepares the camera during her intership at WMBF, a news station that covers the Pee Dee and Grand Strand.

Melissa Rollins, Staff Writer

Before she graduates in May 2013, Brooke Holden wanted to make connections in local broadcast media that might help her get a job after she gets her degree. She decided that internships were her way to do this.

Taking advantage of all opportunities Holden, a senior mass communication major, did an internship at WMBF, a Grand Stand/Pee Dee area news station, over her winter break. This is Holden’s second internship; over the summer she interned at WBTW, another Myrtle Beach area news station.

Her winter internship ran from December 11 until January 4.  Holden said that she has gotten some experience already with her classes at Francis Marion University and her first internship so she was looking to build on that.

Before the start of her internship, her advisor at WMBF gave Holden an idea of what she would be doing.

“[They told me that] on Tuesdays I would be following a reporter to see what they do,” Holden said. “Wednesdays and Thursdays I would be assigned a photographer and do my own stories.”

At WBTW, Holden had the opportunity to do one package but had little experience doing anything like that beforehand and would be reluctant to show it to anyone. She said that she felt more prepared for the internship at WMBF after having taken three classes that improved her knowledge of broadcasting, and reporting in general, during the fall 2012 semester.

“With the completion of last semester, a semester full of broadcast production, broadcast skills and broadcast reporting classes, I feel much more prepared and in control of situations,” Holden said.

She grew up in Aynor, South Carolina, only 30 miles from Myrtle Beach where the station is located and Holden she looked forward to learning about the area while at WMBF.

One aspect of reporting that Holden said she appreciated about WMBF is the investigative approach they take when it comes to the news. In preparation for her internship, she began watching the news more carefully to learn the names and faces of the people that she might be working with. Some of the people included weekday morning anchor Heather Biance and general assignment reporters Sean Maginnis and Erika Gonzalez

One thing that Holden said she had looked forward to polishing during her internship was her time management skills. She said that any person working in media, or wanting to work in media, needs to not only be aware of their deadlines but also needs to meet them.

Each day she was at WMBF, Holden attended meetings where each day’s stories were pitched and discussed. One week during the daily meetings, Holden said that she pitched three different story ideas to the anchors, reporters and news director. While she said that she was nervous, Holden was happily surprised when one of her ideas got a positive response.

“I pitched a story and they liked it,” Holden said. “I was able to go to my hometown in Aynor and report on the new canine department slated for the New Year. This was a very proud moment for me.”

Holden said that the motto she tries to live by is one by Eleanor Roosevelt that says to do one thing every day that scares you because it reminds her to challenge herself.

Reflecting on the difference between her internships Holden said that she is happy to have been able to see progress in her work.

“I’ve grown significantly,” Holden said. “I will continue to grow, learn and improve [and] It is nice to see my growth [since I was at WBTW].”