Carly Besser

Murray State University
The Eagle Post

The beautiful thing about covering something you know nothing about is that you can place yourself in the position of the reader.  You learn alongside them and pay more attention to the details, making your work as thorough as possible. This principle applied to my situation as a first time intern, covering an area I was completely unfamiliar with.

After exclusively covering sports for two years at The Murray State News, I was thrown into an unfamiliar atmosphere when I learned I would be covering news in Oak Grove, home of the Fort Campbell Army Base. At first, it was intimidating to go on post and cover a military event when I didn’t know the first thing the Army. To my own surprise, I learned quickly and grew to like attending the press conferences, groundbreaking ceremonies and media roundtables.

A typical budget at The Eagle Post was dominated by community-related stories about church events, local features and city council meetings. While most reporters would groan about covering a string of yard sales, I learned how impactful stories like these were to gain trust and likeability among the community.

Accepting this internship helped me grow to love working in a small community. City officials knew me by my name when I would stop by for interviews or leads. I was even greeted with a hug and secret handshake whenever I ran into the mayor. Everyone in Oak Grove accepted me with kindness, which made my job very fulfilling.

I had the opportunity to work closely with the Oak Grove Police Department, who didn’t hesitate to make me feel welcome to any information they had. Nothing spices up your resumé like covering a fleeing felon who crashes his car into the front of an occupied house, which was one of many things I excitedly reported on. Covering crime has always been my dream job, so I was elated to have a chance to stop by the station multiple times every week and get to know the officers, detective and chief.

Many of my stories were also used by The Kentucky New Era, giving me a chance to have a larger readership. Getting to learn how a real newsroom worked was fascinating. The chaos and fasted-paced nature of creating a daily paper was tough to adjust to, but it was rewarding to see the finished product the next morning.

It was very bittersweet leaving both The Kentucky New Era and Eagle Post once my ten weeks were up. I formed working relationships with many professionals who taught me so much more than I could have ever picked up in a classroom.  Not only was I writing, but I was also photographing, budgeting and laying out the paper every week.

Thank you so much, KPA, Kentucky New Era, The Eagle Post, and Oak Grove, for giving me the experience of a lifetime. My internship only reaffirmed my love and passion for journalism. It was a pleasure working for you all.

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