My 10-week KPA internship allowed me to continue working for the Bowling Green Daily News, a newspaper that’s become a second home for me.
My internship began just a few days after I graduated from Western Kentucky University with a journalism degree. I spent my last semester at WKU interning with the Daily News, and the staff became like a second family to me. Needless to say, the opportunity to extend my experience with the Daily News was exciting for me. Getting to cover news in my hometown gave me a sense of gravity and purpose in my work.
Stories I wrote mainly covered either local developments in education or community events. They ranged from coverage of school board meetings and university budget stories to coverage of a Bosnian genocide memorial walk that attracted hundreds of people.
Working for the Daily News woke me up to the fact that I had a lot of luxuries in college. During my internship I was expected to meet daily deadlines, juggle multiple stories and come up with regular story ideas. Writing these stories also gave me a better understanding of issues affecting lives, such as funding for higher education, the quality of school facilities and how historical events impact people long after they’ve occurred.
Most importantly, I wouldn’t have gotten better as a journalist without all the people I worked with in the newsroom. I was able to pick up a lot just by listening to other reporters conduct phone interviews. I learned about the importance of building relationships with sources to get more out of them. From our copy editors, known collectively in the newsroom as the “copy pod”, I learned how to turn in cleaner stories. I learned how to ask the right questions and write stronger stories from my editors who acted as mentors.
My internship through the Kentucky Press Association taught me that my education hasn’t ended in the classroom. I may have a lot to learn about the journalism business, but I think I’ll enjoy the journey.