Diary of an Internship – Jennifer Jett in Jakarta

Jennifer Jett, MJ 2011, is currently interning at the Jakarta Globe, Indonesia’s leading English language newspaper. Here is a summary of Jett’s first week taken from excerpts from her blog:

Jennifer Jett (MJ 2011)

Day 1
Bit of a false start today. When I arrived at the Jakarta Globe newsroom at noon, there were only a few people there — today is the Islamic New Year, a public holiday. I was told to wait until more people showed up. In the meantime, I wrote up a short piece about a New Year’s jazz festival for the features editor based on a press release.

One thing I wish I’d had time for before I left Hong Kong is to read the Jakarta Globe online every day for a week or so to familiarise myself with current events and issues in Indonesia. I guess I’ll just have to catch up quickly.

Jakarta Globe newsroom

Day 2
Today was my first day on the copy desk, where I’ll mostly be working for the first week. My shift is from 3 to 11 p.m.

I spent the day learning the Globe’s house style. Although I worked as a copy editor before, I still feel unsure writing headlines. I wonder if other JMSC interns are doing similar work.

Day 3
Thursday was more copy editing, but some writing opportunities came up during the day. The first was an interview with Glyn Davies, the U.S. Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, who was in Jakarta this week as part of a three-country trip that also included Singapore and Vietnam.

Day 4
The interview was on Friday at 10 a.m. at the Mandarin Oriental. Since traffic in Jakarta is a nightmare, I wanted to give myself plenty of time to get there. Once I got into a taxi, however, it took only five minutes to get there, and I arrived an hour early. But that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, since the U.S. Embassy staff who had set up the ambassador’s interviews with several media outlets also arrived early and I was able to chat with them beforehand and get some good ideas for questions.

The interview lasted about 15 minutes, after which I returned to the newsroom to write the story, which you can read here. Then I did my regular copy editing work. I left around 11 p.m.

Santas on stage

Day 5
I normally won’t be working on Saturdays, since there’s no Sunday paper, but today I volunteered to attend a press conference at the Mall of Indonesia, a huge shopping and entertainment complex in North Jakarta. The press conference was to promote the mall’s “Santa Conference.”

Rather than hiring one Santa Claus, this year the mall found Santas from seven different countries: Japan, South Korea, England, China, Spain, Germany and of course Indonesia.

The Santas were brought out on stage one by one, then we visited them at their individual Santa houses around the mall. The event took longer than I expected, but I was happy to practice my language skills interviewing two of the Santas in Spanish and Chinese.

Day 6
I came into the office early to write the Santa Conference story, which you can read here. Then I worked on the copy desk until 11.

Day 7
More copy editing today.