Chris Wilcox

chris-picMurray State University
Lake News

I applied for a KPA internship to gain more real-world experience, expecting to be bored to tears by a small-town community in western Kentucky. But after accepting an internship at The Lake News in Calvert City, Ky., I quickly realized just how much small-town journalism would come to mean to me.

I had previously done a small design-oriented internship in Metropolis, Ill., and had worked for The Murray State News at Murray State University, but neither of those focused on a very broad spectrum of individuals or community news.

While at The Lake News I have covered several community events, written profiles on especially unique members of the community and have handled the traffic accidents and criminal activity.

For me, the best part of the internship has been writing about the many unique individuals who call Calvert City their home.

For example, I wrote a profile on 103-year-old Evelyn Harrington, who owns and handles the “books” for the Calvert Drive-In Theater – a drive-in she and her husband started in 1953. I wrote a profile about Tim Hawkins, a city council member who is paralyzed from the chest down and meets with the city council weekly via Skype. I also wrote a profile on a retired couple that after years of teaching finally are enjoying their true passions

While the information I gathered about them was interesting and fascinating, my favorite part was being told later how it had made an impact on them. That my printed words changed the way they felt about their successes and their lives.

I received several letters from members throughout the community thanking me for the different stories I wrote. Knowing that people were reading and enjoying my writing was amazingly satisfying.

I wrote for The Lake News, but I also designed pages, took pictures and stuffed papers with inserts. Overall I had an extremely well balanced internship and while my time at this paper is coming to an end, I know that it has made a difference on how I view a journalist’s work.

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