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What a first week! I began my internship with Canal 13 on Tuesday, and that is without a doubt the highlight of Week 1.

The News Director paired me with the station’s only reporter that speaks some English (I know why he’s the jefe). She’s immensely helpful and I don’t know what I would do without her. Sure, my Spanish is passable in most conversations, but anything more is risky. So when we’re in the news room and three different people are talking at once and everyone’s joking around, she slows down the pace for me.

I’m confident that I’ll improve quickly, but for now, sometimes the best I can do is smile and nod.

So I follow her and a cameraman (there are no camerawomen) around the city to various stories. The journalistic process is no different, but there are a few small differences.

The first is food. Food is provided anytime the government or an agency invites the media to a meeting or press conference. This would be extremely unethical in the states! What would Mary Rogus say if I returned from a story with a sandwich and a drink? Granted, refrescos are all that’s provided, but one early morning meeting fed us a full breakfast of eggs, potatoes, beans and juice. Did I mention I love comida Yucateca?

As well fed as the journalists might be, there are still plenty who show up late. Now I’m not talking about the acceptable lateness that comes with a busy day of interviews. I’m talking about people stumbling into a press conference as the last question is being answered. Their photos / video has to be terrible. “In other news, a meeting happened, and here’s everyone leaving it.”

But Canal 13 is never late…at least from what I’ve seen. As a state run news agency with a 40 year history, it’s considered the best in the city. That being said, the news room feels more like a comedy club than a work place. Everybody’s rippin’ on each other and cracking jokes. One guy they call Vaca (he’s a large man) hit another guy with a chair! Not hard, but enough to get the other guy out of his. Oh how I love this place.

Final Word: Return tomorrow for Part 2 of Week 1 recap.

-Hasta pronto

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