Journalism is a learning experience. One of the reasons why I think I enjoy journalism so much is because of the opportunities it gives me to learn about so many different things quickly that I never thought I would know how to do.
By coming to work at the Cynthiana Democrat in Cynthiana, a town I had never visited previously, I have learned more about not only the town and the things that are important to a small town, but I have learned about all of the different people that make up the town.
I have been inspired by people I’ve interviewed who have done so much with their lives, making me want to do more with mine. I have met owners of tanning salons, dental centers, quilt shops and restaurants and interviewed authors, pastors, baseball greats and more.
Additionally, I have learned how to raise blackberries, how to fix a dam, how a speech competition works and how to cover a city commission meeting.
I have truly had a fun, enjoyable experience throughout the 10 weeks I have worked in Cynthiana.
I have seen firsthand that news of a new store or of large blackberries can be just as important as news of a crime. I have had more fun writing features about fun things in Cynthiana than I ever have had writing about a wreck or body found in a river.
The hard news can be difficult to report on sometimes but getting to write about the positive things going on in the world has given me more hope for my future in journalism and given me a more positive outlook of the world. There is just as much good news to be told as there is bad news.
Cynthiana is a small town that is very loyal to the people who live there. Everyone I talked to was concerned with keeping jobs in Cynthiana and helping the people who work there and the locally owned shops. While I feel other places around Kentucky would agree, I have never been somewhere where I truly got the feeling that it mattered and that everything they did centered on that.
You get the feeling that you matter when you’re in Cynthiana. You’re not just another face on the street. People know who you are and how to tell visitors how to get to your house or shop. The people of Cynthiana have made me feel so welcome and at home. I’m sad to leave Cynthiana.
Work wise, I really enjoyed having time to work on each story instead of cranking one out as soon as possible and moving to the next thing. I learned the importance of going to meet someone for an interview instead of making a quick phone call to get the information. I feel like it means more to the person you are interviewing and you have more accountability as well as a better sense of what the story means to the people involved.
From the internship I had last summer and this one, I have learned there are many different types of newspapers and what you learn at one, isn’t necessarily what you need to expect at another. It depends a lot on the town. You just have to find the fit that’s right for you.