It was the start of my second week of my internship at the Ledger Independent. The editor informed me that on that day, I was getting the chance to ride along with the senior reporter on a “dog seizure.” Not exactly sure what I was getting into, I took a camera and buckled up for the ride. After driving through winding back roads straight out of a scene from a horror movie, we finally reached our destination. Said location was a barn in the middle of a muddy field. We parked, and wouldn’t you know it – it was raining. To add to the excitement, I was in a dress and sandals – with no umbrella.
The barn was filled with approximately 60 howling dogs that had been taken from their owner. I snapped pictures as volunteers worked to check the health of the dogs and stood close by as the senior reporter conducted her interviews. I left the site soaked, but walked away with a good lesson. A reporter should always carry a change of clothes.
When I first received news that I had been chosen as the Ledger’s intern, I was anxious. I had spent my previous summer at the Mt. Sterling Advocate and had loved every second of it. However, I knew nothing about the city of Maysville, aside from the fact that it was hometown of the University of Kentucky’s Darius Miller. When I arrived at the office on my first day, I was overwhelmed at the size of the newsroom and the Ledger’s staff. Having only worked at weekly papers, the size and scope of a daily, regional paper was new to me.
As the weeks went on, I adjusted to the paper and its deadlines. I worked on a different story each day, from covering news at the local school to the summer heat, to Maysville’s assistant police chief’s graduation from the FBI’s National Academy. I was given the opportunity to write a story for the Lifestyles page, a feature page that runs in the Saturday paper. I traveled to Georgetown, Ohio, a part of the Ledger’s seven-county coverage area, and interviewed a couple who had built a small home that ran entirely on alternate energy. I got an up-close look at the pair’s farm – from the solar panels that powered their house to an outhouse, which was, thankfully, no longer in use. It was a great interview, and one of my favorite stories that I have ever had the chance to work on.
Overall, this summer has been a good experience. I have gotten a deeper look into the journalism field, and what it’s like to work for a regional paper. I’ve received emails and calls praising my stories, and to me, there really is no better feeling. I know that what I take away from this experience will stay with me as I continue on in my journalism career.