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.