This post is a part of my blog series, “Observations of an Editorial Intern” (as inspired by the CAFME Summer Intern Diaries). This series focuses on my experiences of interning as a journalism student for a news publication. Any viewpoints expressed on my blog are not reflective of the publication I work for.
|This semester, I completed an editorial internship at The WEEKLY, the town newspaper published by Chapel Hill Magazine.|
Last Monday, I wrapped up my last few assignments for The WEEKLY and concluded the spring editorial internship. Walking out of that office for my last time this semester was bittersweet, as the end of most valuable experiences — ones that are both challenging and rewarding — tend to be.
I like to think of the past — in this case, the “past” few months — as one huge timeline. Placing a finger at any point on the timeline, I remember where I was in the internship process at that point and how much there was still ahead of me.
In January, I didn’t know what were the important questions to ask in an interview. I didn’t realize repeating my phone number twice in a voice message might increase my chances of getting a call back from the source. I didn’t know “like” was better than “such as.” I wrote my first newspaper article on a local poetry workshop; two weeks later, I covered Ackland Art Museum’s “More Love” exhibit (my favorite assignment) and thought, hey, I could get used to this.
Toward the end of February, the paper switched editors and I was scrambling to keep up with three stories a week (plus schoolwork). Somewhere along the way, I gained basic knowledge of property taxes, gentrification and “brain drain.” By mid-March, I was learning how to write short, punchy lines for my ledes (still learning this, y’all) and how to deviate from the inverted pyramid without losing the “why” of a story.
I led our new “Student of the Week” feature for most of April, and discovered there’s a story in every child that reminds us all to remain curious and passionate about everyday life. I also wrote a personal tribute to my dear friend Laura Rozo, who died about three weeks ago after being diagnosed with cancer in 2011. (You can find my second tribute for Laura in The Daily Tar Heel.)