Madison Wepfer

Madison-WepferMurray State University

Kentucky New Era

This summer was a social experiment. I recently changed my major at Murray State from music to journalism because I discovered my love for writing. I realized that I had a gift to share with the world, and I needed a jumping-off point to see if journalism was my cup of tea. Knowing that I want to write for the rest of my life was only the first step. What would I write about? What kind of publication do I want to write for? That’s where The Kentucky New Era came in.

At first, I was hesitant when it came to writing for a newspaper because I thought that newswriting would stunt my creativity, and I wouldn’t be able to have my own writing style. I thought that magazines were more my speed. However, the KNE gave me a chance to see that writing for a newspaper is more than just facts fit neatly into a one-inch column. I was able to develop my own style of writing and learn about myself. I was able to get a fulfilling experience in the newspaper business.

Working at the KNE for ten weeks made me realize that I’m introverted, and I have a lot to learn about interviewing people and communicating with them to get the information I need. Preparing questions and spitting them out is easy, but communicating with the person you’re getting information from is completely different. After writing my first few stories, I realized that I need to learn how to make people comfortable when I talk to them and focus more on having an organic conversation rather than a short and to-the-point dialogue.

My internship this summer not only allowed me to learn about myself and see the areas in which I need improvement, it also allowed me to learn how to tighten up my writing and design pages. Because I love features and non-ficiton writing, I tend to be long-winded and “fluff things up” too much. Reviewing my stories with the editors at the KNE made me think more about sticking to the facts, but keeping my own writing style and flair. I also learned how design newspaper pages and some magazine pages.

Overall, my experience at the KNE gave me a new insight to writing at news publication. I learned a lot about myself, and I now have some things to work on during the fall semester when I’m writing for the school paper.

The KNE gave me the chance to jump out of my introverted shell and learn how to communicate with people. It taught me how a news story is supposed to look, how to place stories and photos on pages and how to get the best possible story out of any event or person. The things I learned at the KNE will stay with me during the school year and make me into a better writer than I ever thought that I could be.

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