On the first day of my KPA internship at the Sentinel-Echo newspaper, I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I ended up obtaining over the course of the summer was valuable experience that will hopefully aid me in a long career in journalism.
Two days into my internship I was at a farm out in the Laurel County countryside covering a fire. This gave me my first taste of breaking news, and I was able to use my experience from this situation to cover numerous fire and car wreck stories throughout the summer. Prior to this, I only had experience in features, sports and opinion columns, so this internship introduced me to a whole new spectrum of news coverage.
I also had the opportunity to cover feature stories on a broad variety of topics. Some of the more interesting features on which I worked were a beekeepers association, the London Commonwealth attorney who trains dogs for hunting competitions, the local water treatment facility and a farm that grows 100 percent organic crops. Along with these features I had a regular beat at the public library, where they held weekly science shows for the children. These shows ranged from reptile and bird exhibitions to circus clowns and puppets.
Another aspect of my internship that I found extremely valuable was the opportunity to write opinion columns. I have always said that the editorial/opinion section is my favorite page of a newspaper, and that opinion columns are an effective form of self-expression. Fortunately my editor, Mike Moore, was kind enough to allow me to express my obnoxious socio-political views to the London general public in a regular column that I titled “Let me get this straight.” My only hope in regard to my opinion column is that I was able to educate at least one person in the area about one of the topics on which I focused.
In addition to the priceless experience I gained while working here this summer, I was able to work with incredibly kind and talented journalists. Mike Moore as well as the entire Sentinel-Echo staff showed me nothing but generosity, professionalism and patience. They were each instrumental in guiding me throughout the course of my internship and often aided me or gave me pointers while I was working on assignments. It’s safe to say I couldn’t have done it without them, and they have my gratitude.
This internship certainly gave me a proper introduction into what the day-to-day life of a journalist is like, and allowed me to meet interesting people and have memorable experiences along the way. I would certainly recommend the KPA internship to any aspiring journalist, as the experience gained during the short 10 week period is well worth the time and work.