The summer has come to an end, which means that my internship at Forum is over and I have moved on to what is shaping up to be a crazy fun, crazy busy, and crazy difficult senior year. But, over the course of the summer, I was working on something at Forum that I haven’t written about here. Namely, I was writing!
In addition to my internship duties at Forum, helping with researching shows and finding guests and everything else, I’ve been working to write blog posts for other parts of KQED based on Forum shows. In essence, the station tries to connect online, TV, and radio coverage as much as possible by cross-referencing. Things that get put on air are often written about online, and the articles include the audio clips. Forum has a social media specialist who usually writes posts like these, but she was on leave this summer. I like writing, so I tried to write some posts along those lines. I wrote and had four posts published for both the State of Health blog and the Science blog:
Using Disney Movies to Reach a Son with Autism: This was the first post I wrote and, interestingly, the last one that actually went online. From the beginning, I helped with this guest for Forum, reading most of Suskind’s book before he joined us on air (book review here), and even having a really interesting conversation with him about Sleeping Beauty after the show. This post was fun to write, and was based a little bit on the Forum hour and a little bit on the book itself; it was the only of the four posts I wrote that dealt with our second hour, and the hardest to write but a lot of fun.
5 Things You Should Know About Sun Protection: The second post I wrote and the first one online, this was a lot of fun but also a bit challenging. I listened to the full hour twice over, collected all the experts’ tips, and then distilled them down into a single post of five tips. I got a lot of suggestions from the State of Health editor on how to make it a better post, which turned out well for my next two posts also.
Sleep Apps, Myths, and More: Strategies for a Good Night’s Rest: I wrote this post on my very last day at Forum – the hour was Tuesday morning, I wrote the post Tuesday afternoon, and the post was published later in the week. It was nice to get a rapid turnaround for the site, and to show myself and the KQED editors that I was able to get it done. Also, this post was published on the State of Health site, but also linked to and visible on the Science page, which I found exciting.
Gardening in the Drought: What Makes a Plant ‘Drought-Tolerant’: My only post for the Science page exclusively, this one was the only post for which I did serious research in addition to listening to Forum. Instead of basing it exclusively on the hour, I used our drought-friendly gardening hour as a peg for a post that answers a question I’d been asking myself – why are some plants called ‘drought-tolerant’? I did the research and wrote the post from both my research and our guests’ quotes, which was an interesting challenge that I think I was able to complete.
As someone who isn’t a journalism major, I came into my internship feeling a little bit out of place. But the conversation we had at the beginning of the summer, in which we were encouraged to write for the KQED blogs, I felt a little more in my element. After all, I write a blog on the regular, so to speak. Once I got started, I actually enjoyed the process much more than I expected. I received a lot of valuable editorial suggestions, and was able to publish four posts on the website of the largest public radio station in the nation, and one of the biggest news sources in the greater Bay Area. I got compliments from the editors, who said they were impressed with my writing and my ability to take corrections/make edits. Most importantly, I discovered that I really enjoyed the process. Even though three of my four posts were primarily health-based, they all have at least a bit of a science spin to them. I don’t know if science journalism is something I want to actively pursue, but it would certainly be some good fun, and it is (yet another) idea to keep in mind.