Tips on how to survive Next Generation Radio

by Jessica Flores

On my assignment this week, when I visited my story character’s restaurant, I moved around the kitchen taking photos, interviewing the staff while making sure I didn’t forget to ask a question.

It was a long, stressful but extremely fun week at Next Generation Radio. I didn’t know what to expect but my basic journalism skills helped me survive the week. Having a mentor by my side throughout the whole process was an experience that I probably won’t have again any time soon. My mentor guided throughout my reporting and helped me create a meaningful multimedia story. One thing that I realized is important in successfully meeting your deadlines is multitasking.

Jessica Flores and Natalia Pereira take a photo together after the interview.

Here are some tips on how to survive Next Gen Radio and meet your deadlines:

  1. Pre-interview your subject so that you have a good sense of what your story is going to look and sound like.
  2. When you’re reporting make sure to take more photos and audio than you actually need. It makes the selection process easier.
  3. Make sure to get all the logistical information from your character: names and how they’re spelled and specific time frames of their story.
  4. If you’re waiting for an edit and have some “free time,” use that time to work on another assignment (hint: social posts! They’re easy and fun to do).
  5. Make sure your files are organized in a folder. File management is crucial and makes it easier for you to find your work.
  6. Ask a lot of questions! Your mentors are there for a reason. I would ask my mentor, Elizabeth Aguilera, everything—down to what photos I should use, whether my text story sentences make sense, or how to accurately insert quotes into my text story.
  7. Introduce yourself to the other mentees and mentors to make connections. The week can get so intense that you’re focused on your story and feel like you don’t have time to talk to everyone. If you do tip #3, you’ll have time to network with everyone else.
  8. Lastly, have fun! Although the week can get stressful, you’re doing something that you love so you might as well enjoy the process. I know I did.

This program helped me become a better journalist. The multimedia work that I produced are skills that I can take with me to any job, regardless of the platform.