From Theory to Practice: Internship as an Opportunity to See the Real World


Seeking justice, providing help and uncovering the truth is what motivated a young and smart girl named Thanh Chansotheary to study media and communication. She would like to become a journalist after graduating.  As a sophomore at the Department of Media and Communication, more commonly known as DMC, of Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP), Sotheary is optimistic that the way for her to contribute to Cambodian society is through her pieces of writing. With her good academic performance and solid commitment to learning and practicing, Sotheary has been given an opportunity to work as a media intern at the Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM) for eight weeks. Three weeks into her internship, Sotheary has learnt many interesting things she never experienced at the university.

Writing news reports is a core job of journalists, but writing a radio news report is different from that of printed newspaper, said Sotheary. “A radio news report should be short and precise, and we need to use vocabulary selectively, so that we can simplify the content and make it understandable for listeners from all of walks of life within a short airing time.” Sotheary argued that a person reading a newspaper has time to read back and forth, but a radio listener does not have such an opportunity.


According to Sotheary searching for pieces of news in order to write a good news report is even more difficult than writing the news report itself. Sotheary points out that in order to write a good news report you should pay attention to the most important angle of the story, rather than the whole story in general. In other words, you have to be specific and selective. By doing this, you can present the uniqueness of the news report.  

In addition to news report writing, Sotheary also has a chance to practice basic journalism skills, such as interview and photo shooting skills. Furthermore, she is also learning how to use the professional software used for editing digital audio for radio stations. “Sound edits are important when we quote a speech or opinion of actors or relevant stakeholders as part of the radio news report. Within this context, the sound must be clear and meaningful,” Sotheary explained.


Sotheary understands that being a journalist is easy, but being a good and professional journalist is challenging. Nothing, however, will stop her from pursuing her dream to become a journalist. “As a student of media and communication, I am strongly convinced that a journalist works as a bridge, linking leaders with people by giving opportunities to marginalized people to have their voices heard and for a fair solution to be achieved,” Sotheary said adding that “even though I will be given the opportunity to choose another career in the future, journalism will remain my career of choice. I know CCIM is independent and I know I have come to the right place to learn how to transform theories into practice.“ (Sek Sophal)