Intern Experience – Katie Hess, Dawson Springs Progress

By Katie Hess, Eastern Kentucky University

Interned with The Dawson Springs Progress 

Katie Hess

Already being out of natural element with traveling four hours from the city I grew up in to a small town in Western Kentucky, I walked into The Dawson Springs Progress not knowing what to expect. My first day there I got a tour around the small town of Dawson Springs and when Melissa, the managing editor, and I walked into the office there was a guy waiting and he offered me a kiss. Like I said I didn’t know what to expect, so I just thought ‘Oh this is a normal thing from people in this friendly small town,’ and thought he was talking about a real kiss, little did I know he was talking about a Hershey’s kiss. After this first experience, I knew I was going to fit in perfectly with the people in Dawson Springs.

My experience with The Dawson Springs Progress allowed me to see every part of the production process. I was able to write stories, take photos and layout pages. It was one of the best summer experiences I could have asked for and exceeded every expectation I ever had.

Before my internship, I mainly wrote news stories about different events going on around my campus of Eastern Kentucky University. One thing that I avoided was going to different meetings around campus, I was always afraid I would miss something important or I would be the naive girl that didn’t know what was going on especially if they went into closed session. On my first day, I ended up going to a city council meeting with Melissa and met the mayor. I did not even know the mayor in my own town.

One of the many things that I loved about Dawson Springs, was that everyone knew each other and they were all involved in the community. By the end of my internship I knew just about everyone. The mayor would even greet me by name when I walked into the room. This is something that doesn’t happen very often where I am from.

Before I started my internship, I expected to get a lot of hands on experience and get to try out everything. During my interview, Melissa told me that I would be able to do all kinds of things and I would not be stuck writing obituaries in a corner.

At The Dawson Springs Progress, I was able to experience everything I wanted and more. I went to different meetings around town, went to the Summer Reading Program every Tuesday, went to the making of the barbeque sauce for the annual homecoming barbeque each and I must say that smell is one to remember and even wrote a few obituaries.

Melissa Larimore taught me so much during my internship. She showed me how to edit pictures, design pages, write cutlines and all around made me a better journalist.

Now I am headed back to school, where I will be able to use my internship experiences as the design editor at my school paper. Thank you to The Dawson Springs Progress, the friendly people of Dawson Springs for making me feel welcomed and the Kentucky Press Association for making this amazing experience happen.

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