Meghann Anderson

Meghann Anderson, middle, interviews the staff at Studio J in Island in June. Anderson, a resident of Daviess County, worked at the McLean County News through the Kentucky Press Association's internship program for the summer of 2013. Photo by Dariush Shafa

Meghann Anderson, middle, interviews the staff at Studio J in Island in June. Anderson, a resident of Daviess County, worked at the McLean County News through the Kentucky Press Association’s internship program for the summer of 2013. Photo by Dariush Shafa

Murray State University
The McLean County News

Just a small town girl, by choice

I chose to spend my summer working in Calhoun for the McLean County News. While I had friends who opted for internships in Chicago, New York City and Dallas, I chose to spend my summer reporting in county with less than 10,000 people.

And I loved every minute of it.

I got to shoot a gun at the Battle of Sacramento after talking to men representing both the Confederacy and the Union. I attended a birthday party for a woman turning 107 years old who knew more about news than I did, and I am a journalist. Every ribbon cutting ceremony made me have pride for this community and I was proud to tell every story on how the businesses came about and the work put into opening day.

Something else I got to experience while interning at the McLean County News was the pledge and a prayer.

Before almost every town meeting, ribbon cutting ceremony and community get-together, the residents of McLean County pledged their loyalty to the American flag and gave praise to God.

I have worked for other newspapers and have attended many other meetings and ceremonies and none were like those in McLean County.

My summer at the McLean County News renewed my love for small town journalism. It made me realize people still love to see their kids in the paper and people really do care about what is going on in their community.

National news takes a back burner to the news down the road.

While not all news is good news, the majority of the news in McLean County was positive and was fun to report.

A new coal mine, which will bring jobs to the community, a skate park for teens who are looking for more outdoor recreation options and a new football coach who hopes to breathe new life into the high school football program were all top news stories.

People want to read about people they know. When people talk about what they love, what they have worked for, and people they know, they talk about it with passion.

That is what makes my job so much fun.

So thank you to all the people I met this summer and made my learning experience at this small town paper a great one. Not many city officials, mayors and school personnel would take the time to get to know some “kid” who was only here for the summer. But that is what sets McLean County, Ky., apart from other small communities, the people.

The people are the heart of this county and I am glad they let a Daviess County girl come down the road and be apart of their summer for 10 weeks.

Meghann Anderson is returning to Murray State University. She will graduate in 2014 with a degree in journalism and a minor in advertising.

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