Wrapping up my days at Rappler

Jannica Diaz
Whatever you do, as tough and challenging and impossible they may be, they will serve some purpose especially if they provide a glimpse of truth and perspective

HAPPY BUNCH. The author, Jannica Diaz, joins other interns in her batch.

Each gift is uniquely delightful in its own special way but what Rappler wrapped up for me is an entirely different present altogether; something you can take with you wherever you go, whatever you do, even share with whoever you meet.

Before my fateful internship with Rappler, I was spending the whole summer in a silent monologue with myself, wondering if I am really that capable of being a journalist or a writer.

I never doubted my love for writing, which had been with me for as long as I can remember. It’s how I live up to it that I was concerned about. Writing is a craft that I longed to use to help transform other people’s lives, and it has been one of my biggest frustrations ever.

All that changed when my blockmate recommended me to be part of the internship program. I confessed that I took it to escape from boredom brought upon by the summer air of restlessness, but little did I know that Rappler had something big in store for me.

Chronicling the experience

My first week was all about research, research and RESEARCH. Other tasks included transcribing, tabulating, data-mapping, and believe it or not, adding sums for incomplete data entries. This may not sound promising but the experience taught me a lot.

One, patience is not only a virtue, or a policy. It’s an art. Two, a good sound bite for a 20-minute transcription is worth the wait and exhaustion. Three, government websites are the most colorful corners in the Net, complete with cute text animations and flashy displays of color. I would be happier if some of them were updated.

During the 2nd week, I had my first profile article. It was a great experience for me; I got to meet new people at different kinds of places and talk to them casually. I never felt the duty of having to get important information from them for my story.

As long as I listened earnestly to them like an enraptured kid for a bedtime story, I got somewhere. One lesson I learned: People are not what they seem. Just like a lake, you wouldn’t know how deep it is just by looking.

The 3rd week was when I finally had the chance to cover events and media invitations. Here I met all kinds of people working in the same industry – writers, bloggers, editors and some VIPs. I learned to do things I never thought I could do before.

True, my guts were tested and I had to squeeze every bit of street smarts I had to get a story, but I felt in every coverage, every invitation, step by step I was moving away from my comfort zone to get some place else.

My first junket trip in Bataan was the highlight of my internship days. After this, I realized what I really wanted to see in myself after in 5-10 years. I want to travel to places, experience all different things each culture of this world could offer. Best of all, I want to write about them, to share them with others and show them beauty that goes unnoticed, especially that of our own country.

The last two weeks were as eventful as they went; I never even realized that the summer was ending and that I needed to go back to school. Gone was the bummed out, burnt out old me; replaced by someone who more confident in her reporting and writing skills. More confident in her ability to not only handle conflicts in schedules or priorities, but also conflicts within herself.

What Rappler taught me

My days in Rappler are all wrapped up in one thing: Whatever you do, as tough and challenging and impossible they may be, they will serve some purpose especially if they provide a glimpse of truth and perspective. Everything will be well worth it.

I realized that this is really the true essence of journalism which Rappler just showed me – though brought to a wholly different level, the purpose remains the same. I am grateful to Rappler for reminding me that even a small and ordinary pebble like me can cause ripples of change if I put all my heart into what I do.

And it’s one gift I shall keep for the rest of my days. – Rappler.com

Rappler’s Internship Program is ongoing. Check out our internship ad for details about requirements.