Friday, June 17, 2005

Eye of the Intern

I have not always been kind to the newsroom intern. It’s nothing personal. You see, as a struggling raconteur and a fully-licensed cameramanthropologist, it’s my sworn duty to bag on the unpaid assistant. For years, I’ve answered that call - portraying all interns as overenthusiastic nimrods, underdressed strumpets and myopic intruders of my personal space. Most times I was right. But as I get a little bit older (and a lot less bolder), I find myself reconsidering the apprentice broadcaster.

Perhaps that’s due to the tight formation of interns currently circling my desk. As much as I view newsgathering as a solo sport, it’s hard to turn down these eager souls. After all, they just wanna do I what I do (isn’t that sick?). The very least I can do is take one with me when I hit the field. Otherwise, they’re relegated to some unmanned desk and forced to call various cop shops and beg for news morsels. That’s a daily fate I wouldn’t wish on anybody - minus of course a certain dark overlord of a General Manager I use to pump out dreck for on a daily basis...

But this post isn’t about my undying bitterness toward an inherently evil ex-employer. (I'm saving THAT for the book.) No, tonight we’re talking interns - more specifically the oddly astute duo now regularly appearing in the shotgun seat of my battered news cruiser. Intern Mike Crump (that’s what we call him; Intern-Mike-Crump) has insisted on showing up every day this summer for another round of chase-the-deadline. So far he’s proven immensely helpful, especially when it comes to locating a certain forgetful lenslinger’s keys, sunglasses, motivation, etc…This alone should win that dude a medal - or a chance at a real career (not one as silly as mine). Another unsalaried accomplice who’s quickly earning his keep is Scott Myrick (pictured here). This Elon University student is back for his second internship at El Ocho. While normally I’d prescribe some kind of ointment for that particular condition, I know a terminal newsman when I see one. Yep - Scott’s got it bad. I recognize the symptoms from my early days as an edit bay outpatient. If I’m not careful, I’ll be working for him someday. Lousy punk!

Still, I worry about what our young cohorts witness in the daily chase. With our extreme driving, strong language and insistence on bending space and time at a moment‘s notice, we photogs ain’t the easiest dates in the world. Simply put, we’d rather burn your huts than win your hearts. Thus, what runs through the average intern’s head as the guy beside him casually speeds toward his third police stand-off of the week would make for one hell of a blog. I liken it to a petty thief signing up for a lesson in safecracking, only to be kidnapped by a couple of grumpy serial killers for a tri-state crime spree. Somebody’s gonna get hurt. So here’s my begrudging nod to Scott, Mike and all the other interns who’ve put up with my rambling soliloquies as of late. Just remember - if you're not careful, the slightly unhinged deadline-slayer you see when you look my way, could someday be YOU.

So don't say you weren't properly warned.


Weaver said...

I second that nod to the interns, especially Mike and Scott. Anybody halfway paying attention may have seen Mike showing up in a couple of my recent posts.


Chris Morton said...

I am a victim of Internoscopy, though I'm gonna have to pay for my insurance FT Photogs