By Emily Patrick, Eastern Kentucky University, Mt. Sterling Advocate
My name is Emily Patrick and my summer KPA internship was spent at the Mt. Sterling Advocate out of Montgomery County. Going in, I was very nervous. In fact, I remember barely sleeping the night before. I was just coming out of an internship in Frankfort which had nothing to do with journalism – I did it to fulfill my other major, political science – and this would be my first newspaper internship outside of working for my school newspaper (The Eastern Progress). I hadn’t written properly in nearly six months, so I was scared I had forgotten basic AP rules, or that I would completely freeze when it came to writing a story using the inverted pyramid. I stayed up, drank a lot of coffee, and over-dressed for my first day.
However, the staff was more than welcoming, and though I came in on a production day, they put me right to work and had me calling contacts and putting together event previews. The first day went great, and from then on I was less nervous and more determined to prove myself and my abilities. I hope I succeeded in that aspect.
I’m a senior at EKU, and I double major in political science and broadcasting and electronic media with a focus in multimedia news (or as I like to refer to it, journalism). My being a double major has nothing to do with an advanced work ethic and everything to do with not being able to choose between my two passions. I love politics. I love writing. I love keeping politicians in check through writing. So, I chose to major in both and to round-out my abilities separately and intermittently.
Throughout the 10 weeks at the Advocate, I had a plethora of amazing stories that I feel so blessed to have been able to cover. The two that stand out in my memory are a story about two little boys and a father who bought, renovated and now actively run an ice cream truck around Mt. Sterling and Montgomery County; and a story about a local artist who makes extremely tenuous stained-glass mosaic art pieces which all revolve around comic book characters. These stories are amazing, and not something you would see on the 11 o’clock news. Stories like this fit so uniquely in the small town newspaper world, and I’m glad to have met so many amazing people who are working so hard to improve and perfect Mt. Sterling and the surrounding areas.
Before this internship, I had begun to doubt whether I would seriously consider a job in print journalism. During a previous internship at a TV station, I heard a lot of scoffing when I brought up an interest in the print journalism field. So many think it is “dead” and useless. This internship reminded me how important newspapers are – even if you’re not working in New York City or Boston. Small town newspapers truly make a difference, and can personalize and tailor news so specifically – in a way that generalized television news cannot.
I have a year left at EKU – my projected graduation is May 2020 – and then it’s up to me to decide what path I want to take in my career. Thanks to this internship, and the amazing journalists I worked with the past 10 weeks, print journalism is not something I will cross off my list. In fact, it now tops my list of potential career paths.