Mari-Alice Jasper

Mari-Alice JasperFort Campbell Courier
Murray State University

During my internship at The Fort Campbell Courier I came to understand how tightly knit the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics and the Army core values are. To seek truth and report it — a selfless and public service. To minimize harm — to work with honor and integrity. To act independently – to have personal courage. To be accountable and transparent – duty and respect.

During my internship I became very familiar with these values, how important they are to the community here and I came to understand how important it will be to my future career in journalism to maintain the Journalists Code of Ethics.

Although I have lived near Fort Campbell all of my life, I had never spent a long amount of time on post — just every once in a while to visit a friend. On my first day here, the staff already busy with their stories for the week, the assistant editor went over my story assignment with me, handed me a small map of the installation and placed a Nikon D90 in my other hand.

And that was how the rest of the summer would go.

I spent the next ten weeks navigating the installation, remembering to ask Soldiers their rank, and trying to figure out how to make Photoshop work to my advantage. With the help and support of the staff at The Fort Campbell Courier and the Public Affairs Office, I was able to churn out several good pieces.

While interning here I was able to do lots of fun interviews and talk to interesting people who had been all over the world. I had the opportunity to cover a wide array of stories. My first couple of weeks I spent a lot of time down at Wohali Lake covering a stream clean-up and a Native American training session for Soldiers. I was also given the opportunity to interview several Soldiers for sports profile pieces, something I never thought I would be doing.

The assignments I had were always exciting and I looked forward to our weekly meeting to hear what I would be working on that week. When I first accepted this internship I was a little concerned I would be restless because it is a weekly paper, but I can assure you that was not the case. Each week I was assigned at least two stories and I was also responsible for designing at least two pages. It kept me plenty busy.

Overall my skills have drastically improved, especially with ability to use Adobe Indesign and Photoshop comfortably. I genuinely feel like I have learned something new every day and I feel much more confident in my skills as a writer, copyeditor and photographer.

It has been a privilege to work alongside such professionals and witness what the day in the life of a professional journalist is. Being a professional means preparing ahead of time, meeting deadlines and most importantly – always remembering extra batteries.

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