Tessa Duvall

Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green Daily News

As a Bowling Green native, I thought interning at the newspaper in my hometown — the one delivered to my house every weekend for as long as I can remember — would be a breeze. I already know the community, I know my way around and I know what’s important to residents.

I was wrong.

I can’t even count how many times I got lost going on assignment, and I was surprised when I found myself struggling to come up with ideas for the paper. How was this happening?

After wrapping up my first week at the paper, I figured out what my problem was — I wasn’t in the right mindset. Last summer, I interned at a small weekly paper, The Eagle Post in Oak Grove, Ky., where I reported, took photos and designed pages. Then, I returned to my job as a reporter at WKU’s paper, the College Heights Herald, where I covered a very specific beat.

The Daily News was a whole new ballgame.

A daily paper. No beat to call my own. A bigger circulation.

More than anything, my 10 weeks with The Daily News allowed me to focus entirely on my writing capabilities. Every story, from the seemingly simple to the complex, allowed me to fine-tune my writing.

I tried to look at each story as a challenge. Where is the human interest? How can I make this lede catch the reader’s attention? What extra detail would give this story more of an edge?

Looking back at the stories I wrote, I see such diversity in their topics. I wrote about just about everything it seems—diseased bats, Eagle Scouts, Wounded Warriors, cars, Harry Potter and economics, just to name a few.

I can honestly say that I gave each story my best, and learned about my community in the process.

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