Kristie Hamon

Eastern Kentucky University
Corbin Times Tribune 

What I did this summer:

Journalists often get a bad rap in movies, like Rita Skeeter in “Harry Potter” or the editor of the Daily Bugle in the “Spiderman” series. But just so everyone knows, real journalists aren’t like that in real life.

While there is competition between local papers to get the scoop first, I have worked with some of the most ethical, diligent reporters this summer who showed me how to get the facts and from the right people.

I came into the internship at The Times-Tribune with what I knew from the school paper, The Eastern Progress, and everything I learned in class, but I had no idea what to expect at a daily newspaper.

I have grown so much this summer as a reporter. I have become more independent and, to sum it all up, I have ripped my comfort zone apart, but in a good way.

Living in an antique shop, two hours from home, not knowing anyone around me, I explored Knox, Laurel and Whitley counties while reporting for the Times-Tribune.

I was able to try a little bit of everything this summer. I followed along to a fire, a wreck on I-75, and, alone, I ventured way out to a flood in Kayjay, a small community in the mountains of Knox County.

Even when I felt the most lost on the roads and my GPS would say “Losing satellite connection” and my cell phone would start searching for service, I kept going because I knew this was one heck of an experience just to pass it up.

I have always been a quiet person, more of a listener, but this summer through this internship, I have pushed myself farther than I would have guessed at the beginning of the summer I would have gone.

I went to federal court and watched and reported on a sentencing. I went to a city commissioners meeting. I have taken more pictures this summer than I think I ever have.

I got to go to Cumberland Falls and see the moonbow, went to the Laurel County Fair, I have fed goats and stalked people at Walmart, I have talked to some really friendly people and dodged some creepy people. I have talked to every police chief in the Tri-County area. I have met other reporters, mayors and I even shook hands with the governor. I even got a little taste of what designing the paper itself is like.

While part of me feels like it was more than I was ready to handle for my first internship, I am so thankful to have had this experience and learn so many valuable things I will need in my own career one day. I did the best I think I could have done for my first internship.

I was glad to find that everything I have been learning at school has truly helped me. I wasn’t as lost when it came to terminology, photography, design, writing style and much more.

This internship has excited me to go back to the school paper because I feel like a weekly school paper will come so easily now compared to a daily paper that covers three counties and has a high crime rate. I feel like I could work anywhere after working here.

I learned that there are a lot of bittersweet things to report on, like soldiers deploying, cancer survivors walking a relay, a couple who just lost their home and everything inside to a flood, and a wife whose high school sweetheart drowned. Journalism can weigh on your heart when reporting on the tough issues but fill you with pride when you see your story on the front page telling the stories of those people.

While I am still undecided about what exactly I want to do after college with journalism, this internship has given me so much insight, experience and the right tools, to do the things I need to do to have a successful career. 

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