Kayla Pickrell

Kayla PickrellUniversity of Kentucky

Cynthiana Democrat

My valuable experiences at The Cynthiana Democrat this summer has shaped who I am as a journalist.Before my internship, I had barely picked up a camera for photojournalism. I had never taken a photojournalism class. At the Democrat, everywhere you go, a camera better be with you. Not only are you the journalist, but you are also the photographer.

This was the most frightening aspect of my internship. It is the part I felt least comfortable with and feared at failing. You can’t exactly call a source back and ask them to redo something for a better shot like you could when reporting and forgetting a question. After a few nervous outings with my camera, I became much more adjusted.

I also reported on my first car accident, which was a great experience because it showed me what steps needed to be taken in that situation. I learned where I was allowed, what to take pictures of and what questions to ask first responders.

My experiences were not confined to outside of the newsroom and in the field, but also at my desk with other reporters and my editor, Becky Barnes.

I had some experience with InDesign prior to the internship, but not extensive enough to be comfortable with it. I had never been on the design half of the school newspaper, so I only picked up on what I heard and what I needed to know.

At The Democrat, the design staff is the news staff, so I had to learn quickly how to paginate a newspaper. I became more familiar with forming headlines and what structure the pages would be in.

I learned to PhotoShop my pictures to a newspaper’s needs using Unsharp Mask, Levels and Image Size.

One of the biggest things I learned in the newsroom wasn’t particularly about journalism, it was about how to react when a response to an article, column or picture is less than favorable, or when a source does not respond or refuses to speak to you.

All of these experiences have shaped my summer and my future in journalism, and The Cynthiana Democrat has pushed me in the right direction for success.

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