by ANA OLVERA
It is no strange fact that newspapers are indeed suffering in this economy. National newspapers are cutting down on circulation and some have even gone completely online. Some might become discouraged by the turn of events in the world of journalism, but I, on the other hand, embraced these new challenges.
Last summer I contacted The Rockford Squire in hopes of acquiring an internship. Out of the three newspapers and one publishing company I contacted, the Squire was the only one who was actually enthusiastic about having an intern.
Now, I’m sure plenty of people imagine a newspaper office to be all about desks, computers, whiteboards and frantic fingers typing away in order to meet the week’s deadline. I would be lying if I said my thoughts weren’t just the same. Instead, when I finally began interning at the Squire in September, I found myself surrounded by seven one-of-a-kind personalities. It was a pleasure and joy to work with such energetic, lively and passionate people. Every day I came in, I was greeted with smiles and always met with helping hands. A lot of work-and laughter-was definitely accomplished during my internship.
A big concern I had about interning at the Squire was how welcomed I would be by the people of Rockford. Luckily, I was embraced with open arms. It was really neat to learn about the history of Rockford and see how beautiful it truly is. All of the businesses always looked well-kept and clean-not to mention.
During my internship, I wrote informative articles, Man on the Streets, and wrote about news in the community. Writing informative and local articles really gave me a sense of belonging in Rockford and helped me learn how to properly write about community news. Man on the Streets were such a joy to write because they allowed me to meet and interact with different people. Although difficult at times to find people who were willing to get their picture taken, it was good practice for other interviews because they were on the spot. I needed to have all the questions ready, be confident, and be able to talk with different kinds of people.
I am so thankful and cannot express my gratitude enough to the entire staff at the Squire for allowing me the opportunity to do what I love without even being out of high school yet. I have learned so much about writing and newspapers during my internship. My grammar and overall writing has improved. One of the most important things I’ve learned has definitely been learning to deal with deadlines. Yes, they are important and necessary, but they are not constantly running through or put on my mind. I’ve learned to just stay focused on my article in order to have it done and submitted on time. I have also learned new writing techniques, how to take better pictures for an article, and the basics of running a newspaper. It really is much more work than just copying and pasting articles.
My appreciation for newspapers has definitely increased after seeing how much work journalists, sales reps, editors, graphic designers, and office managers put into making this publication successful. But I am most grateful that I was given the opportunity to write articles and also have them published. As all aspiring journalists, I have been able to compile a “clip file” of all the articles I’ve written that have been published during my internship. I plan on expanding my clip file throughout the course of my journalism journey. It will surely be a helpful tool during my job hunt in the future. My internship has been an amazing and wonderful opportunity that cannot be fully described in words.