TCN Interns: 3 Months of Learning, National and International Exposure

Total Croatia News

February 14, 2020 – A new direction for Total Croatia News 3 months ago, as three TCN interns joined the team from the Faculty of Political Science and Journalism at Zagreb University. It has been busy!

A few months ago, I was invited to give a seminar of how to run a news portal in Croatia to students at Zagreb University. I was delighted to accept the invitation even if I have not yet worked out how to successfully run a portal in The Beautiful Croatia. 

It was a fun event, and the students who braved the early morning 9am start were very engaged – you can see the seminar in the videos below. 

An idea came to mind during the seminar – to offer some kind of programme for TCN interns, if there was any interest. Like most things in life, I had no idea what I was doing or any concrete plan, but when three of the attendees enrolled in the programme, I knew I had to come up with something. 

It has been an interesting journey for all of us, especially our TCN interns, Ana Samodol, Paula Anic, and Janja Sestak. You can meet them all here

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One of the things I like most about working with the business community in Croatia is learning how much many of its top performers are willing to give back, and I had no hesitation in contact some of them to enlist their help as mentors to our new young heroines. First up, PR guru, Kresimir Macan, former Communications Director to Prime Minister Plenkovic, who kindly met with Paula to discuss her passion for politics, and has been giving ongoing advice and support. 

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Award-winning documentary-maker and director of the Zagreb Tour Film Festival, the legendica that is Spomenka Saraga, found time to discuss their shared passion for film with Ana – interview coming soon on TCN.

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And Janja got to hang out with guitar virtuoso Yogi Lonich ahead of the release of his new album – you can read Yogi’s interview here

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I well remember the feeling of having my first article published online back on October 28, 2010 – Driving in Albania: Not for the Fainthearted. It is a really satisfying feeling, watching how complete strangers read – and like – your work. Among the fans who shared Ana’s first piece was Sibenik  Mayor, Zeljko Buric. Thank you, Sir!

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 It took me 50 years to get published in the UK with my piece in The Daily Telegraph last year, but Paula managed to get a byline in a London political website within a month of starting with TCN. Apologies for the title, one which was decided in London against our advice. 

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And Janja has had some great success, most notably in her recent feature on a young bladesmith in Koprivinica

One of the tips I passed on was the need to work on the promotion of the articles, and so Janja followed my advice and sent it to the relevant portals. And the town of Koprivnica was quick in recognising the talents of bladesmith Ivan Mlinar. 

And then regional television got involved.  

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And then national television – here is HRT filming with Ivan yesterday. And with Jutarnji List also in contact, it seems that Janja’s article (topic and research 100% her own idea and work) is going truly national. Fantastic job. 

We are still finding our feet in the TCN Interns programme, and there isa a big Instagram initiative with our three young ladies starting soon, but a very solid start and congratulations from all three on a very solid start. I asked them how they are enjoying the programme so far. 

Ana – I love the opportunities which TCN gives me. What I like the most is that I don’t have the pressure of writing things in which I am not interested. I can write about things that are in my interest, and if I don’t have any inspiration, Paul encourages me to think about it. Also, I like that there is this easy atmosphere where you can decide when you want your deadline to be. Furthermore, I like that we meet new people, interview them and write about cultural and historical things. The next great thing is that at every meeting we discuss our topics. But not only that, we even talk about how we spend our day and what’s new in our lives. I like that we can joke around at those meetings and tell some interesting funny stories. You don’t feel like you are on some important business meeting but relaxed talk with your friends.

Janja – When I first applied for TCN, I wasn’t aware where exactly this journey will lead me. I’m not sure even now, but I am enjoying the path. I love the opportunities which TCN is continuously giving to us. I like the freedom of choosing my own articles and also seeing that Paul is encouraging us to do so. One of the brilliant things is how easy you can reach the person you want to talk to or go to an event you want to cover. Also, a relaxed atmosphere, quality humor, and understanding people are wonderful things to have around. It is a pretty rare thing to find, especially in a working environment. We are just a few months into this internship and have already had so many positive experiences, so I am very happy. 

Paula – Working for the TCN this past three months has opened my eyes about journalism more than my Faculty has in almost 2 years. Working with real deadlines, writing what interests me and constant input from Paul on how to become even better are just some of the things I am grateful for. I would definitely highlight being published in London political portal ‘The Article’ as one of the best things that have happened in my work thus far. Thank you once again to both Paul and Krešimir Macan. In addition, even though we only just started, I can see that working with Gustavo and Andreas will push me even further out of my comfort zone. What this internship taught me is that it’s worth getting up to attend a lecture at 9am. You never know what amazing opportunities might be thrown at you.

TCN is looking to expand its internship programme, as well begin an Instagram video programme with training. If you are interested in applying, please contact [email protected] Subject Intern. For the Instagram programme, you can be anywhere in Croatia and not necessarily a student. 


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