Intern gets the real scoop on journalismMACKENZIE ALLISON: I was an intern at the Duluth Budgeteer News, thanks in part to the Pohlad Family Foundation and the Minnesota Newspaper Association.
By: Mackenzie Allison, Duluth Budgeteer News
This summer, I ended up with a drawer full of notes and more than 500 e-mails. I also learned a lot.
I was an intern at the Duluth Budgeteer News, thanks in part to the Pohlad Family Foundation and the Minnesota Newspaper Association. Whenever I told someone that I was an intern, I always was asked two questions: how old I was — everyone assumed I was in college — and whether newspapers were dying.
At first, I wasn’t sure I wanted to be an intern.
I heard about the opportunity through my high school journalism class but I didn’t think I was qualified enough to even consider applying.
I talked myself into at least finding out more about it. Surprisingly, after my interview with the Budgeteer editor, Naomi Yaeger, I found that I had a new summer job.
Going into the Budgeteer’s offices at the Duluth News Tribune building the first day was very intimidating. I wasn’t sure if I would be fetching coffee all day, every day for 10 weeks or if I would actually get to write. By the end of my first day I knew the answer; I would be writing, a lot.
Some weeks I would write one little story and spend the rest of the time fixing press releases. Other weeks I would get so stressed while working on two or three bigger stories, keeping all the information straight was hard. Seeing my stories in print, no matter how long or short, made it worth it, though.
After every story, I would feel a sense of accomplishment. I liked hearing what the editors had to say about them.
I took in every word they said, and tried to remember every fix they made. Not many teenagers can say that they spent their summer working, learning and achieving something that can go on a college application all at once.
I learned that the real journalism world is nothing like the high school journalism world. I found that I like it better. I liked the fast pace of everything; people were always thinking ahead of what next week’s story could be. It is a lot more work though, often taking time out of normal life. Even as an intern, I would go to events on weekends or look over my stories on my own time. I found out that even though there is a paper on my front steps every week or every morning, it is not always easy for people to put it there.
I also learned things about me. I like typing in bold. I start stories backwards, often putting them together out of order, and ending with the title. I like photography. I really like pens, but hate ones with blue ink. I also learned, or at least got an idea, of what I want to do in the future.
At the beginning of the summer, I had no idea of what I wanted to study in college. What 17-year-old really does? Because of the experience I had at the Budgeteer, I know that I at least want journalism to be a part of my college, and hopefully adult, life.