This past week I started working at Radio Flash Fm.
The first day was really good but also really difficult. The woman who was put in charge of my internship is out of the country for at least two weeks so I was concerned that noone would know what to do with me. But when I arrived on wednesday morning everyone was very welcoming.
Story meetings start at 8:30 every morning, where the journalists bring some ideas to the table. Everyone was really nice and was able to translate everything to me in broken English. Than I was assigned to work with one of the reporters, Vincent, who was covering a workshop event for local governance. We covered the event in the morning, went back and wrote about it, and than went to another event for a separate story in the afternoon. This is the first difference I noticed about Journalism here, most of the stories we cover are events that come from press releases.
That first day was a really big learning curve for me. I found that trying to learn the format for the different stories was difficult, especially when people were struggling to find the words in english. Also, I was told that I would be reading the 7pm english news bulletin on air, which was very exciting but very scary and I was confused by what my role intended. I didn’t know that that I was also supposed to find international stories online and write scripts about them for the air. My friend Theos, the sports reporter, was very helpful though.
The last couple of minutes were very stressful, trying to get everything done in time, but it all came through and by 7pm I could hear my voice on the radio, broadcasting news for everyone in Rwanda to hear!!!
The next day was much much easier. Once I had figured out the format things were much smoother. And Vincent and I got the chance to go to a local hospital and interview a number of midwives about the challenge they face on a day to day basis. I felt very cool getting to interview all these amazing women.
Another thing I have also noticed after spending a couple of days at Flash is how hard everyone works and how long their days are. I thought my day was long when I started at 8:30 and went until 7:30. But Theos and Elias get to the studio at 5:30 in the morning and often don’t leave until 7:30 or 8 at night! Also, Vincent gets there at 8am, and works till 5:30 but goes to school immediately after. And usually noone takes lunch either. They laughed when I told them that people at home often work 9-5 jobs with an hour for lunch.
This is my colleague, Eric. He and I were waiting for a press conference to start.
I am really excited to keep working with the radio station. They have given me lots to do, which I’m glad, and I’m looking forward to finding lots of stories to write about!