Interns are young, make mistakes, plagiarize and have no work ethic.
At least two (shall we assume overworked and underpaid?) interns and a rookie protest photographer took some of the most compelling images this summer, from a woman egged at a Donald Trump rally in San Jose to an emotional photograph of a hulking Dallas police officer hugging a smaller colleague after five of his peers were killed.
One of those interns works at NBC Bay Area.
Jennifer Gonzalez is a San Jose State University senior who was snapping pictures for her school in June when a Trump rally in downtown San Jose got rowdy and violent. Protesters were flipping each other off, yelling obscenities, spitting at each other and even throwing eggs and tomatoes at Rachel Casey, one of 14 plaintiffs now suing the city alleging officials didn’t do enough to stop the violence. Gonzalez got right in the middle of it and started documenting history. She began work at NBC Bay Area the next day, and turned over her photos for all to share. A video she had edited the night before she started her internship now has 7,400 views. Her footage was also used during several on-air broadcasts.
“It was my first big experience, it was a real adrenaline rush,” the 22-year-old student said. “At the same, it was time scary. But I wanted to be right in the middle of it.”
Then on July 8, Ting Shen, a 27-year-old intern at the Dallas Morning News took the dramatic image picked up by news agencies around the country. He told the Columbia Journalism Review that after finishing up a town hall meeting assignment he headed to the hospital upon learning a sniper had killed five police officers.
He heard sobbing and looked inside the ER. He saw a DART police officer comforting what appeared to be another female officer, and he knew he had to capture the moment. Needless to say, the newspaper offered to extend his internship, and he said yes.
The next day, Jonathan Bachman, a freelance photographer, took the photo of the day in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It was the first protest of his career, and he captured what Reuters “described as the defining image of the Black Lives Matter” movement, showing Ieshia Evans of New York standing calmly in a long dress as two police officers in full riot gear confronted her in the middle of the roast. The photo became a Twitter moment, and was shared countless times that day.
If anything, the internship for Gonzalez at NBC Bay Area, including getting to shoot photos at the gymnastic Olympic trials in San Jose, has solidified her desire to continue her pursuit of a journalism career.
“I’ve learned how to be quick on my feet and how to expose my images to the public,” she said. “It makes me want to do it more, and go to more historically defining events.”