I’ll admit it. After realizing I landed an opportunity at my first daily publication full-time, I was a little intimidated. I had only imagined what the atmosphere of a daily newsroom was like. I visualized papers flying through the air, phones ringing off the hook and journalists on the brink of an absolute crisis due to the stress of seemingly impossible deadlines. I was never more wrong. While working at the News-Enterprise definitely broke me from the spoils of week-long deadlines and slow days, I felt fulfilled and more confident as a reporter by the time my ten weeks were up.
There was not a typical day at the Enterprise for me. There were instances where I would start and end my work day in circuit court, scribbling notes for arraignments and motions. There were other days when I would spend most of my time typing stories, talking to sources or working with police. Other days would be spent studying case files and filing open records requests. There was really no way of telling what I was going to do. My coworkers and editors caught wind that I live and breathe crime and courts. As a criminal justice student, I was completely thrilled to take on reporting a high-profile murder trial, an unsolved murder case and the controversial acquittal of a man charged with armed robbery – Topics that I’ve never had the opportunity to write about before.
While I was assigned some very lucrative stories, I had my share of general assignments. I found myself reporting on a wide span, ranging from fundraisers and church events to profiles on the careers of illustrious veterans. Working close to Fort Knox made me realize how pivotal military affairs, troops and veterans are to the Hardin County. I had a couple of assignments reflecting that.
One thing I took away from the News-Enterprise was that community news is still a priority. As a criminal justice junkie and newshound, it was hard to get excited for covering a garden tour or a Bible quiz team. Much to my surprise, those kinds of stories garner reader response. Community news sometimes inspires people to get involved, donate to a good cause or just become more aware of what’s going on in their city. Realizing the importance of community news stories made me treat them like any other story I was assigned.
As someone who has been writing for some sort of print publication for seven years, I still feel the sense of excitement and accomplishment when I see my byline in the paper. The feeling was elevated when I often saw it on the front page of the News-Enterprise, which circulated to an audience much larger than I was used to.
I learned a lot, wrote a lot and commuted even more (Approximately 50 minutes from my home in Louisville to work), but I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything. The staff at the News-Enterprise were very accommodating, welcoming me from day one and helping me bolster my portfolio to a whole new level. Special thanks to Gina Clear, who taught me more about courts than Law and Order ever could.