William Wright

William WrightLexington Herald-Leader
University of Kentucky

 As a fisherman and hiker, I was disgusted to learn millions of gallons of sewage were pouring into the Levisa Fork river every day for months.It seemed unreal, but what was more shocking was the lack of media coverage. When my editor, John Stamper, asked me to write the story, I couldn’t have been more excited.

Sure, my two articles were not going to clog the holes in the sewage line, but maybe the stories would push state officials to get something done.

I had the opportunity to write multiple stories like this throughout the summer, reminding me of why I love journalism. There’s nothing that makes me smile more than upsetting a public official for a good cause.

My editors assigned me stories, but also allowed me to pursue my own projects. A pigeon-infested bridge in Lexington has upset and disgusted me for years. I didn’t expect Stamper to give the story the “go-ahead,” but he helped guide me throughout the reporting and writing process, and the story ended up being a great package in the Bluegrass section.

A video by my friend and co-worker Marcus Dorsey accompanied the pigeon story. The editing staff at the Herald always pushed us to create video, and I’m happy to say I broke my fear of video production this summer. My first video ran on Kentucky.com., and it accompanied a story about rebuilding homes in Eastern Kentucky. This is just one example of how the staff pushed its interns beyond their self-perceived limits.

The Herald-Leader staff was tremendous for me. They improved my writing, improved my reporting, and, most importantly, improved my perception of journalism and my city.

Reporting has always been a dream of mine, and now it seems within my reach.

I’ll leave with one last story of the summer. Before I left on my last day, Chris Ware, a Herald-Leader artist, invited me on a backpacking trip in the Smoky Mountains. The relationships you build through internships are real, and can lead to real friendships, and that’s just as important as reporting.

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