Collin Overton — Henry County Local Intern

Collin Overton

Among what he learned? Deadlines dictate everything

This summer, I had the privilege of interning for the Henry County Local, a weekly paper in a community just one county over from where I grew up. I can’t overstate how valuable the experience was for me.

Working for a weekly meant I got do a little bit of everything. In my ten weeks, I covered county business, economy, agriculture, accident scenes and everything in between. I shot photo essays, wrote features on interesting people, designed pages and covered breaking news. As time went on, the staff threw bigger challenges my way.

The editor and I also worked hard to expand the Local’s social media presence and engagement. From May 23 to July 26, we grew our Facebook likes by 20 percent and built an Instagram account, which now has almost 600 followers.

This summer taught me a lot about the working world of journalism. No two days are the same; you might be chasing three different breaking stories one day, then spending the entire next day in InDesign. Regular hours rarely exist, people show up to work at weird times and deadline dictates everything. I learned to adjust to unpredictability and make the most use of my time. More than that, though, I learned how to better work as part of a team.

Some of my biggest lessons also came from the community aspect of running a local paper. I learned how important it was to establish relationships with community leaders and sources, to create public discussions and to answer questions that arose as a result of my reporting.

The good people of the Local could not have been better to work for. This summer has grown my appreciation for journalism, exposed me to new situations and helped me establish great connections. I owe it to KPA, the Local, and Landmark for making that happen.

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