When I got word that I was hired as the summer intern for the Beech Tree News in Morgantown, Kentucky, I was simultaneously thrilled and unsure what to expect. I was pretty unfamiliar with Morgantown, despite the fact it was only 18 miles north of my hometown of Bowling Green.
The only thing I knew about the community of Morgantown was that it was the “Catfish Capitol of the World”, and that was only because of the of the welcome sign I encountered on my drive for my interview in March. It could easily, and naively, be assumed that because Morgantown is a small town, there is little news to cover and few stories to tell. Wrong.
Prior to working for the Beech Tree News, I primarily had experience writing sports and occasional features for my college publications the Talisman and College Heights Herald. Once my internship began I was forced outside of my comfort zone. I had to tackle city council meetings, fiscal court meetings, graduations, city commerce luncheons, collecting courthouse stats and a multitude of other events and topics I had no experience covering or writing about.
An interesting aspect about working for the Beech Tree News was that it operates strictly as an online news source. The concept was strange to family members and friends eager to see my clips in a print publication and unaware of the current landscape of journalism. Print newspapers are steadily “dying” or in a less harsh sense becoming less prevalent. As technologies like smart phones and tablets become ubiquitous across the globe, consumers have started to digest their news primarily via these technologies and online. My 10-weeks working for this online news source gave me a taste of what is likely to expect in a career in journalism that is constantly evolving with new technologies.
These 1o-weeks made me a more well-rounded and versatile journalist. I met and interviewed countless people in the community that I will remember and cherish forever. The connections I made with my bosses and co-workers will live on long after this internship ends. I was challenged, praised, critiqued and molded into a stronger journalist during my time in Morgantown, and I’m not sure what else I could’ve asked for from this internship.