Timothy Wyatt

Timothy WyattUniversity of the Cumberlands

Corbin News Journal

We all know how the saying goes: every good thing in life worth doing is worth doing right. That maxim holds a lot of weight. It’s something I already knew to be true since it was ingrained in me as a child, but my experience with the News Journal in Corbin, Ky. only furthered my certainty.During the course of my internship I built on skills that my professors at University of the Cumberlands helped me develop and through “real world” practice I was able to cultivate new ones.

Before working with the News Journal, I primarily covered sports and entertainment—two things that shape who I am and how I write. While I still plan to keep my focus on topics within that realm of journalism, being able to get out of my comfort zone and try something different really helped me further appreciate the freedoms that come with doing something that you love for a living.

This summer has been more eventful than any in recent memory. In a sense, I did it all. Though, I felt at my best when I was working on investigative pieces. I worked with Kentucky Alcohol Beverage Control and Department for Environmental Protection to help exploit local business owners.

One article dealt with a restaurant owner charging alcoholic drinks as appetizers, racking up over $15,000 in misplaced sales to help tip the restaurant’s food/alcohol sales percentages so that it was portrayed as the required 70/30 split and avoid the 7 percent tax the city places on alcohol. The other concentrated on a local sanitation service owner and his two parcels of land that basically act as a landfill for various garbage, such as junk tires, which he doesn’t have a permit allowing him to do so. In it, I also highlight the close relationship between him and the Whitley County Judge-Executive, the person in charge of the county’s Solid Waste Coordinator, who is responsible for citing such illegal activities.

Overall, my time with the News Journal has been a growing and rewarding experience. I’ve established working relationships with people already in my field who have helped me better understand what it takes to be a journalist. More so than that, they showed me that it’s worth doing.

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