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31 December 2010

Diary of an Internship Week 2 – 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 second week taken from excerpts from her blog:

Jennifer Jett (MJ 2011)

Day 1
This morning I attended a book signing at the U.S. Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission’s Residence in Jakarta. It was for a book about Indonesian textiles. I interviewed the author after her presentation.

Afterwards, I took the train to Bogor, one hour away, to meet my classmate Shari, who is also interning at the Globe. She was reporting a story on International Animal Rescue, which has a center in Bogor that rehabilitates slow lorises. The slow loris, a popular pet among Indonesia’s expat population, is on the top 25 endangered primates list.

I took the train back to Jakarta and got home late.

Day 2
Wednesday was a really long day. At 10am I met Anita, the House of Representatives reporter, in the newsroom and together we went to the Indonesian parliament building to conduct some interviews for a story about Indonesian nursing regulations. But when we got there, the people we wanted to interview were in a hearing, so we sat in the gallery and waited.

Other journalists told us the hearing would end in the next 30 minutes, but that quickly stretched into an hour as every legislator and government official made sure they had their say (just like Congress at home!). When it was over, parliament staff served lunch and one or two political officials lit up cigarettes right there in the hearing room. We finished our interviews (Anita translated) and I headed back to the newsroom.

I worked on the copy desk for a few hours, and then, because I procrastinated, I had to stay up late to write a story about the Indonesian textile book signing, which you can read here.

Day 3
I returned the textile book to the Indonesian Heritage Society in the morning and did some reporting in the afternoon.

One of the copy editors had suggested a story on the 14th Pencak Silat World Championship being held this week in Jakarta. Pencak silat is an Indonesian traditional martial art. I got approval from the features editor and got into a taxi for the long trip to the stadium in South Jakarta. Neither of us realized, however, that the Globe already had a photographer and sports reporter there to cover it. So I gathered some quotes for the reporter and interviewed the sole athlete representing the United States for a feature called “My Jakarta.” I was pretty pleased with myself for identifying the only American in a crowd of hundreds of people from 30 different countries.

Day 4

Today I went with Shari to a pet market for a story she’s reporting. A man who worked there took us all over the market to show us the animals on sale legally and illegally, including birds, owls, mice, snakes, bats and a very forlorn-looking monkey, and let us take pictures (for a fee).

Later we did some souvenir shopping on Jalan Surabaya.

Day 5
Sunday I was on the copy desk.

On Monday I came in early to spend a few hours on the Web desk, which basically means editing short articles for publication online. Then I was back on the copy desk until 11:30 or so.

Day 6
I didn’t have much to do on Tuesday — I tried to do some reporting from the office and then left early.

Day 7
On Wednesday I was back on the Web desk.

Day 8
This morning before work I went to a budgeting workshop for NGOs at Atma Jaya Catholic University next to the Jakarta Globe building. There I interviewed two men about foreign funding for Indonesian NGOs. NGOs in Indonesia rely almost entirely on other countries and international organisations to fund their programs and services, but the flow of money is slowing as the Indonesian economy grows.

I spent the rest of the day on the Web desk. Pinta, the Web editor, showed me how to pull stories from the wire and publish them online, followed by the now obligatory Tweet announcing a story’s publication.

Day 9 and 10
Everyone had the last two days off for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Co-workers kindly invited me to their holiday celebrations on both days, so I had plenty to keep me occupied.