Cady Stribling, Springfield Sun, Murray State University
When I was applying to summer internships pre-pandemic, I had an image of what my experience would look like. In my mind, I lived and thrived in a new place, I met new people and networked, and I created memories in a new community that I would cherish forever. Needless to say, the pandemic drastically changed my experience, but the image I held in my mind did not change as I thought it would.
As COVID-19 created an unrecognizable world, my internship at the Springfield Sun became a valuable experience, which was a little unexpected considering journalism relies on interacting with the community and events. Although the majority of my internship was online, I spent the last few weeks in Springfield. Reporting on Springfield’s happenings while stuck at home in Frankfort was not an ideal situation, but I was surprised at how quickly I felt connected to the town, even virtually. The people of Springfield and surrounding areas are some of the nicest and most caring people I have ever met, and everyone made me feel so welcome. That was one of the best experiences with this internship.
Having an internship both online and in person provided valuable insights and lessons, especially on how to be a good journalist through unprecedented times. As my first reporting job outside of college, I learned how to research and cover topics that I previously knew little about. I learned how to ask better questions that would lead to better information, and how to manage this on a deadline.
During this internship, I stumbled upon the most interesting story and wrote my favorite article to date about a man and an atomic bomb, and I will never forget it. I learned how to report in a new place while in the middle of a pandemic, and it became very apparent during this time the importance of community for everyone, not just journalists. In many ways, I still thrived in a new place, met new people and networked, and created memories in a new community that I would cherish forever.