In 2010, I took my first journalism course at AUD. It was a course to learn the media writing skills. One day, our professor gave me and my classmates an assignment, to go and cover Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) press conference. We were not only asked to cover the conference, but also interview someone. We had a deadline which was (If I’m not mistaken) two hours after the end of the conference.
We all went together. We weren’t sure if we will be allowed enter as we weren’t invited. We entered and took the escalator down. The receptionist was looking at us. One of my classmates said: “They caught us! They caught us!” We still walked in confidence as real journalists. When we crossed, the receptionist stopped us and asked: “Are you here to cover the conference?” We replied: “Yes.” She guided us into the hall where all journalists were having refreshments. We felt assured that we won’t be kicked out. Thus, we told her that we are students and we need her help to get interviews after the conference is over and she promised to help.
We stood there having few refreshments till the conference starts. We were trying to look around and see what we are supposed to do. Nothing much really happened until the conference room was opened. We sat almost at the front. We weren’t sure if we should set there, but since we weren’t kicked in the first place then this one should be fine too :p We also asked for the statement that will be given. We were acting as real journalists. Let me paraphrase, we became real journalists.
After the end of the conference, many of us secured interviews by our own. We got big names as well like the head of DIFF and Dubai Studios City managing director among others. The experience overall wasn’t bad.
Today, we’re not as shy as we were at that time. We became much more outgoing. As a matter of fact, we’re working on our capstone projects right now. That experience as frighting as it was helped us to gain confidence.
It’s not easy to be a journalist, but it’s fun. Your days as a journalist are rarely boring!
* This was originally published in Fish N Write.