Nikki Treleaven didn’t think anything could top last year’s Field Period at a TV station in Florida, shadowing reporters and videographers out on live news shoots.
The senior organizational communication major reported for her first day of Field Period at Gulf Breeze News in Gulf Breeze, Fla. near Milton and Pensacola, on Jan. 3 and was promptly assigned to write a news story on a nearby wildlife sanctuary. It was published in the next edition of the weekly paper, under her own name. In news-speak, that’s known as a “byline,” and since then, Treleaven has had three more articles she wrote appear in print, with one even landing on the front page. Now, the possibilities look virtually endless to the Marcellus, N.Y. native.
“I love this internship so far, and I can’t wait to write more stories, and keep getting published,” said Treleaven, who was previously considering going into public relations after graduation. When she couldn’t find an internship with a PR firm for this Field Period, she opted to try print journalism instead.
Junior organizational communication major Nikki Treleaven has more than hands-on, real-world experience from her January Field Period site, WEAR (ABC) Channel 3 in Pensacola, Fla.
She also has a glowing recommendation from her supervisor, Managing Editor Randy Wood.
Wood wrote Treleaven’s adviser, Professor of Communication Studies Anita Chirco, an e-mail of praise a few weeks in to Treleaven’s Field Period there.
“I wanted to drop you a note to tell you what a pleasure it has been to have Nikki here as an intern,” wrote Wood. “Nikki is a self starter who is always eager to do whatever is asked of her. She relates well to others and has been an asset to our team this month.
“Nikki is a solid representative of Keuka College, and has a work ethic that seems to be lost on many young people now entering the workforce,” continued Wood. “You should be very proud of what she has learned and applied from her studies there. My only regret is her time here was short.”
Treleaven proved her ability to multi-task during the Field Period. She worked with reporters and photographers, conducted research for future stories, shot “stand ups” in front of the camera for experience, and put together story packages.
“I had a lot of fun going around with the reporters,” said Treleaven. “[WEAR] is the main news station for the panhandle area, and people recognize them (reporters). They also get special access to events.”
However, Treleaven recognizes aspects of the job that can be “stressful.”
“There is a lot of pressure to write good, fast,” said Treleaven, who also found it difficult to pose questions that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no.
Listening to news anchors say the words on air that she wrote was rewarding.
The first day of her internship, Treleaven accompanied a reporter to the scene of an anthrax scare at a senator’s office.
“There was a suspicious envelope with white powder,” said Treleaven. “Fire and hazmat (hazardous materials) crews were also on the scene. We had to wait four hours to get the results from testing—it was pretty intense.”
Another memorable experience while interning with WEAR was interviewing U.S.-Rep. Jeff Miller when he paid a visit to a Vietnam War veteran’s home to present him with the bronze star.
One of the stories that she packaged involved a slew of dead fish washing up in Pensacola Bay.
“We interviewed residents with Bay front property and wildlife experts,” said Treleaven. “The wildlife experts determined that the fish were freezing to death. It was also determined that it was up to the homeowners to clean up the [carcasses].”
WEAR was not the first television station at which Treleaven interned. Last year, she spent a month at Fox 68 in her hometown of Syracuse, where she helped shoot and edit commercials, and gained experience in promotions and sales.
Her freshman Field Period was with the Syracuse mayor’s office, where she wrote press releases, proclamations, attended conferences, and completed “various other tasks as assigned by the mayor’s staff.”
And she has big plans for her senior Field Period next year.
“I want to intern with a sports team,” said Treleaven, who added that baseball is her favorite sport. She has held work study positions with Sports Information Coordinator Seth Fikes as well as Head Athletic Trainer/Assistant Director of Athletics Jeff Bray.