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Landing an internship is a challenge enough. Now imagine reporting on a place you’ve never visited from hundreds of miles away.
It would have been so much simpler for Natalie Walters to report on looted Dallas businesses were she actually in the city as planned. Instead, she had to cover them from more than 900 miles away in her hometown of Augusta, Georgia. What’s more, her firsthand knowledge of the place consisted only of passing through once before on a road trip.
Like myself, and several other news interns I spoke to, Walters spent her summer reporting on a place she didn’t know at all.
In late March, Walters and I started texting back and forth about whether to accept our remote reporting internships. I was to work for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, even though the closest I have been to the city is St. Louis, some 360 miles away. She was picked for The Dallas Morning News.
Walters and I are both obtaining our master’s degrees in investigative journalism at Arizona State University, and we were looking forward to traveling to unfamiliar cities and using everything we learned over the previous two semesters. Even if our positions weren’t canceled outright — like they were at The Star Tribune in Minneapolis, The Boston Globe, The Seattle Times and other newsrooms — we were still crestfallen after learning our jobs would be done from home.
“It was hard to accept and adjust my expectations,” Walters said. “I
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/reporting-editing/2020/how-journalism-interns-reported-on-places-theyve-never-been-over-the-summer/