I had a great learning experience that affirmed my strengths as a reporter, but also brought to light areas of improvement.
I was assigned stories daily, ranging from police briefs to event coverage outside an abortion clinic, city hall, and even crime reporting. I also worked on stories I pitched, like reporting on the aftermath of the Ontario college strike.
Being in a top-level professional environment opened my eyes to the attention to detail required every single day. You’re only as good as the latest piece of copy you put out, and there’s no excuse for errors, no matter how small.
Another lesson that also sunk in was the importance of tailoring pitches to publications. Journalism school allows you to experiment and write what you’d like, but in a business setting you have to make sure the idea is doable and fresh, especially in a daily newspaper. I think part of this struggle comes from being in a feature-writing background, but adaptability is just as important a skill as writing.