Alexandria Collis

Maysville Ledger Independent
Morehead State University

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.

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