Master of Journalism student Annie Blatchford completed an internship with ArtsHub in Melbourne, Australia.
I completed my internship ArtsHub, an online site that publishes news stories about the arts industry and reviews of theatre, music, art-shows, festivals and films across Australia.
Arriving on my first day to find the ArtsHub headquarters, located down a quintessential Melbourne CBD laneway in a converted warehouse, I was feeling a little intimidated, but mostly excited. I was introduced to the Editor and Performing Arts Writer who would my supervisors, settled into my own workspace, assigned some stories and was able to get working immediately.
My role as an intern at ArtsHub was to produce the latest news updates. This involved being given a collection of media releases each morning, which I was asked to research and find an interesting angle of interest to ArtsHub's audience. Regular topics I was asked to cover included education, government funding, job appointments, cultural events, festivals, competitions and awards.
A feature story that came about from a discussion with the Performing Arts editor became a highlight of my internship. The feature was to be about apocalypse and disaster narratives in the arts. While conducting research I came across an article on the online Liberian news site, the Daily Observer, providing a fresh angle on a very current issue - Ebola. The article was written by a Liberian group called Shabuta Cultural Arts, and when I emailed the author of the article, I was very surprised to receive an enthusiastic response answering my questions about the group's 'Recovery Art Exhibition' they were going to hold to help their community through the Ebola crisis. I corresponded with Maisha Babu, the woman behind Shabuta Cultural Arts, and also interviewed a local arts-therapist for her perspective on the role of artists in a disaster. This allowed me to go back into my internship with a strong foundation to my story. Maisha Babu was an inspiring woman to interview and writing her and her local community's story was an incredibly rewarding experience.
Having studied the Master of Journalism unit 'Research and Writing Stories', I felt very prepared for my work at ArtsHub. I was confident with how to research and structure succinct news stories and well-practiced in meeting tight deadlines. The unit I was studying in the same semester, 'Advanced Non-Fiction Writing', was also very useful in helping me write with an engaging and creative voice appropriate for the ArtsHub readership.
I am now on ArtsHub's copywriting contact list for paid work and volunteer to review arts performances and shows throughout Melbourne.
Advice for future interns
If you are looking to hone your news writing skills and are interested in arts and culture in Melbourne and Australia I would highly recommend the ArtsHub internship. It was a great opportunity to learn about the digital journalism world while writing about some very fun and entertaining topics.
Visit the Master of Journalism web page.