Thirsty for change: my internship at Rappler

Aliana May D. Juson
The kind of people at Rappler are thirsty for change and believers in the power of citizen journalism

Aliana Juson“Rappler, social news network po!” was how my fellow interns and I would introduce ourselves whenever we had to call up people for work.

Rappler made my dream of being a journalist possible.

The process

While most of my blockmates chose to do their internship in my home province of Negros Occidental, I had long dreamt of doing my internship in Metro Manila.

My dream of getting an internship in Manila started when a friend gave me a heads up about working in Rappler. As soon as I saw the announcement, I tried to accomplish the required documents.

I remember happily discussing the application with my friends and classmates who also wished to apply for the internship. An internship in Rappler then became part of my bucket list when I realized that I need to work with the kind of people at Rappler—thirsty for change and believers in the power of citizen journalism.

March was crunch time for me. I had to meet all my academic requirements and fix my papers for the advanced internship. By March 8, I submitted my application to Rappler. I was notified that they would inform successful applicants by the end of March—so I basically prepared myself to wait for the results.


Last April 5, I flew to Manila—unsure whether Rappler accepted me. For more than a week I thought my dream would never come true.

Fortunately, by April 16, I got an email from Ms. Chay Hofileña who told me to visit the Rappler HQ as soon as possible. In the afternoon of the same day, I went to the office. There, my passion for journalism and Rappler met its purpose.

PROUD INTERNS. Posing beside Rappler's studio backdrop on the last day of the internship. Photo by Mumar Ibbin/Rappler

Destination: research

I like crisp information. I am an avid consumer of ideas and news.

Most of the time, I did not know what to do with all the information I absorbed. I thought knowing was enough.

Through Rappler, I realized that there could be patterns in data and irregularities that we would want the nation to know. The ability to convey data in a straightforward manner is part of what makes a good journalist.

I chose to be in the Research unit on a whim but I don’t regret it a bit.

Encoding, database formatting, talking to people, traveling to Malacañang, and rereading the data many times were just a few things that we had to go through in the research unit.

While most of my co-interns were happy about seeing their bylines on Rappler, I was just happy to see the data I researched, encoded, and provided to other staff members. Through my work, I was able to support the work of my fellow interns and reporters.

BREAKING GROUND. The author together with Rappler CEO Maria Ressa during the election coverage. Photo by Gabe Brillantes/Rappler

More than data

Aside from research, I also did other tasks which included sharing articles about Palarong Pambansa and pushing #PHvote stories.

We also met politicians and personalities who added spice to our internship experience.

I also have to mention that I wasn’t asked to make coffee or photocopy anything. I was treated as if I was a professional. All of us were given significant tasks. We were also given feedback directly by our supervisors.

Through Rappler, I have come to realize that my career lies in becoming a journalist—someone who can make ripples and make sense of the vast amounts of information out there.

I am Aliana May Juson of the University of St. La Salle-Bacolod—a proud Rappler intern. –

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