Voice of America internship enjoyable and educational
Muhammed Anta Kusuma, Clarion staff
February 22, 2012
Filed under Opinions
I can’t exactly remember when I decided to enter journalism for my career. But when I was a kid, my father always asked me to pick a weekly news magazine in a store. Every night after studying, we always watched the news on television.
As an adult, I liked the way reporters deliver the truth without fear. They went to dangerous places and became the part of history.
One day, I met the bureau chief of a news channel in Indonesia and told him I wanted to do an internship. Even without a resume in my hand, he welcomed me. It was my first touch in journalism. Later, I applied to the best national television in Jakarta, Indonesia. Three years later, I landed in Madison to take a journalism certificate.
On my winter break, I went to Washington D.C. to do my internship at Voice of America. It is a U.S. federal agency that broadcasts news to the world in radio, television and on the Internet in 44 languages.
I worked in the television section for three weeks collecting international news from wire services and translating it into my native language. Sometimes I helped the radio section to do voiceovers, an activity that I loved. My supervisor allowed me to pick the news based on my decision of its value. I felt independent and more responsible on my position.
Even though Voice of America has the stigma of being an outlet of American propaganda, I was allowed to select news stories whether they had a positive take on the United States or a negative one. One day, I presented a story about U.S soldiers urinating on dead Afghanis. Another day, I selected a story about Iran accusing the United States and Israel of killing a nuclear scientist.
One day, I helped the staff make a feature story about food pantry. There were five people who involved for making that story. We spent more than two hours in field to make a 30-minute documentary. It was broadcast throughout Indonesian television.
Another day, we made a unique report about the biggest tattoo show in Virginia. I helped the crew as a reporter and cameraman. I interviewed the tattoo artist and a girl with many tattoos on her body. It gave me a unique experience using my English to get the information. It was fun.
At Voice of America, I interned at a place where people from different nationalities work together in a professional manner. I hope one day I can go back to Washington D.C. and explore its beauty. But, I also hope to work at another television station again in the near future.
Muhammad Anta Kusuma is an international student from Indonesia who is attending classes at Madison College. He writes this column about his experiences in the United States.