This summer gave me my second KPA internship in as many years, this time at The Spencer Magnet in Taylorsville, Ky. Although I spent last summer interning at a similar weekly newspaper in LaRue County, my experiences have not been identical, and this program continues to teach me how to be a better writer, employee and person.
My time in Taylorsville has been interesting, to say the least. Whether it was dealing with the stray cat problem that landed the town on NBC Nightly News, or interviewing a World War II veteran, I’ve learned a lot from this tiny town.
During my time at various newspapers and other outlets, I have never gotten a good grasp on subjects such as open records requests, media law and investigative writing. I think that is the biggest thing I will take from Spencer County. Watching the staff reporter at the Magnet, Mallory Bilger, work was really eye-opening for me, and really taught me how to look at a story from every possible angle to see the truth. She was outstanding at making that one extra phone call and really going the extra mile to find that last piece of the puzzle. I am much more interested now in investigative writing, research-intensive projects and longform journalism.
My editor, Shannon Brock, was also really helpful because she encouraged me to pitch my own story ideas. I came into Spencer County not knowing a soul, so being challenged to notice all the little things about this community and come up with my own story ideas was a great way for me to get to know people and improve my observation skills. As any reporter would tell you, those are two very crucial components to our profession.
My long-term career goal is to be in a large-market city like New York or Chicago. Many would say that working in a town as small as Taylorsville doesn’t prepare me for the big-city life, but I have to disagree. The Magnet has helped further my skills in writing, design, photography and generally everything having to do with publishing a newspaper. Those skills will stick with me forever and can help me all across the world, whether I land in Taylorsville again, New York, or even another country. I really can’t thank Mallory, Shannon and my absolutely fabulous publisher, Lynette Mason, enough.