My Internship Experience is a series where Ithaca College students talk about their time in the field of Sport Management and Media. Below, junior Sport Media major Sam Coppola shares his internship experience with News 12.
By Sam Coppola ’14
This summer, I am interning for the sports department at News 12 Connecticut in Norwalk, CT. So far, my experience has been fantastic and educational.
My first day I arrived at the station — and left about five minutes later; right away I was thrown into the lions’ den, getting the opportunity to go right into working in the field. I incorrectly assumed that interns get the chance to settle in before they go out, but this seemed like a good way for me to get acclimated to my summer internship.
Our first stop was a high school conference semifinal matchup between two rival schools separated by less than two miles. I watched and took notes about the game, while a News 12 employee went to work with the video camera. The game was a thriller as it went into extra innings and I was presented with a good set of circumstances to develop my postgame questions. I later interviewed the winning pitcher who held the opponent scoreless and the runner who scored the game-winning run; the batter of the winning RBI could not be reached for comment.
As summer progresses, I have slowly — but surely — been given opportunities to get some footage of my own. The hardest sport to shoot with one camera definitely has to be baseball because of the many things that can happen on any play. You have to make sure that you get the pitcher throwing and batter hitting, while having to follow both the pattern of the ball and any base runner that is on. At first, my footage wasn’t necessarily the best thing my department head had ever seen, but it also wasn’t the worst. I like to think I have developed into a halfway decent cameraman now, especially since a couple shots of mine have already seen airtime.
The other night, we attended my first Bridgeport Bluefish game with News 12. Since we were working the event, the Bluefish were kind enough to give us free food and drinks. I chose to go with chicken fingers and fries, while Damian got a hot dog and three chicken fingers. For Independent League ballpark food, I have to say I was very impressed. But, not as impressed as the chicken sandwich that we received at the Ludlowe High School snack bar in Fairfield, CT. Snack bar food normally doesn’t make you think delicious, but this sandwich had ridiculously juicy chicken with a combination of toppings like; bacon, lettuce, tomato, and hot pepper mayo (possibly?). Just a few perks of working in the sport media field with News 12.
The most important task that I do at the station is when I put in the “rundown.” The “rundown” is basically the show itself, so whatever I put in is going to be on air during our particular time slot. This means I have to worry about making sure the show flows and transitions properly. I then have to put in all the graphics for the show, making sure that everything lines up and is spelled correctly.
Also, I am working on my writing skills by coming up with the show script. I’ve learned that it’s best to keep it as short and as to the point as possible. The first day I wrote the prompts, we had to cram to get the Yankee game recap in because it ended only minutes before Damian went on air. I wrote about a homerun that was hit by Raul Ibanez in the top of the second inning. Since, Damian normally rereads what I write, he assumed that I wrote the piece as, “In the top of the second . . . ,” but, I wrote it with stating the inning at the end and he stumbled while reading it on air. There are slip-ups like this all the time wherever you are, but at least I know now how to adjust my writing to whose reading it. If I know I’m writing for Damian, I have to write with his reading style in mind.
So far, I’m loving this experience. Everything is new and it’s keeping me on my toes while I am learning at the same time. I’m really looking forward to this week, as I will be attending the Travelers Championship golf tournament for two days. I’ll recap this experience in an upcoming post.