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My experience as an intern at Sky News Media

My experience as an intern at Sky News Media


Have you ever wanted to become a journalist? Are you considering an internship? Charles Sturt Bachelor of Communications student, Charlotte Lyons, shares her internship experience with Sky News.

Written by Charlotte Lyons

When people ask me what I want to do when I graduate from my communications degree, I tell them that one day I would love to be a news presenter or reporter.

I have learnt valuable skills in the two years of my degree so far, where I have used the university teleprompter, completed “mock” anchoring, and made practice news packages.

However, never did I think that while I was studying, I would have the once in a lifetime opportunity to immerse myself in a real newsroom at Sky News Australia.

Charlotte Lyons at her internship with Sky News.

Earlier this year, I was awarded the Sky News David Banks Memorial Scholarship which included the amazing opportunity to intern at Sky News for a month.

I knew that the newsroom would be a high-pressure, fast-paced environment and that I would feel a little bit out of my depth as a 20-year-old university student.

And boy, was I right.

As soon as I stepped inside, I realised my future career was not for the weak!

Audiences have a need to consume information constantly, meaning the newsroom is running on a 24-hour cycle that stops for no one.

However, once I was shown around, the building felt a little less intimidating. The main newsroom is filled with journalists, producers and editors typing away at their computers.

There is also a control room with lots of buttons and screens that control the live programs taking place. I even got to go into the actual studio, and watch the technical directors hook the microphones and earpieces up to anchors and guests.

So, I got a little taste of absolutely everything on my very first day. But let’s get down to the nitty gritty of the next nineteen days I spent at Sky News.

Here were the highlights:

  1. Shadowing News Reporters:

For the majority of my internship, I was lucky enough to be “on the road” shadowing reporters.

I would meet a reporter and camera man at their stationed location and observe them doing their job from start to finish.

I watched reporters cover a variety of stories, from court reporting on Daniel Duggan’s extradition hearing, to the Voice to Parliament campaigns, to the repatriation flights from Israel to Sydney, to celebrating the Sydney Opera House’s 50th birthday.

I watched reporters do their live crosses, interview people and write and record news packages, all while asking them loads of questions and advice!

When I shadowed reporter Kenny Heatley, he allowed me to copy his “piece to camera” and get it recorded for feedback.

Receiving personalised advice on how to talk to camera from such an experienced reporter was a special moment for me during my time at Sky News.

Charlotte practicing her own “piece to camera” on tax reform laws.

2. Being so involved in the news-gathering process

The best part of my internship was how involved Sky News allowed me to be. On my third day, I was sent to a press conference with the treasurer of Australia, Jim Chalmers.

During the conference, my boss asked me if I could ask Chalmers an important question.

There were about six other journalists sitting in the room, and so I nervously fought through the crowd of ABC and Channel 9 journalists to shoot up my hand and ask Chalmers the question.

And, the answer he gave me ended up being on the news that day! A pinch-me moment!

Charlotte with the camera gear ”on the road”.

3. The weather channel:

While I loved being “on the road”, the focus of the internship was to explore every possible career pathway in television news.

In all honesty, before my internship, there were so many future positions within the newsroom that I did not even consider!

One of the main areas of news I learnt so much about was the Sky News Weather Channel. This is where I learnt all the basics on how to write and produce weather news.

I got to sit in on a meteorologist doing her live-cross in the weather studio.

And, one of my favourite parts of my four weeks was when the weather presenter on shift allowed me to go into the weather studio and read the bulletin myself.

I was hooked up with an earpiece and microphone so that producer from the control room could communicate with me, and I learnt how to use the teleprompter to scroll through the script at my speaking pace.

You can see even see my foot in the photo because this teleprompter used a foot pedal to scroll!

Charlotte in the weather studio.

4. An introduction to producing:

After learning the producing basics with the weather team, I spent time with the executive producer who taught me how to produce general news.

I read Sky News’ style guides on how to write, and learnt basics on how to use the editing software.

And, after spending quite a few days doing this, I was lucky enough to score a job as a casual news producer for Sky News which I officially started this week!

Covering my time at Sky News in a short blog has been incredibly difficult. It is impossible to explain how much I learnt in each jam-packed day there.

But I hope that whoever is reading this article, whether you are a paramedic student, or a psychology student, first-hand work experience allows you to gain a much deeper understanding of the industry you are looking to go into.

My internship has not only allowed me to create a network of contacts in the field before I even graduate, but it has solidified my passion for the news and media industry.  

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