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Letters by Laura A column by Laura DuCharme

Farewell to Clarkston

August 06, 2014 - Deciding to intern at The Clarkston News for the summer was something I was hesitant about.

My dream is to work for a magazine, so I wanted to intern for one. Knowing those internships are hard to get, I applied to a few newspapers, as well.

I consider myself lucky that I got to intern for this newspaper. Newspapers are more fast-paced than magazines, so I feel more prepared, especially since the magazines in big cities are fast-paced; just like I experienced here.

One of the biggest challenges I've had during my life as a journalist was interviewing.

This is, obviously, a huge part of the job but I can be shy and was afraid to approach someone on the street or call somebody on the telephone to ask questions.

I've gotten more comfortable with calling people as well as talking to them in person. I quickly learned that people are excited to be in the newspaper so they will be happy to talk to you.

Along with interviewing, I learned that you might need to remind people that you will be interviewing them.

Since it isn't part of their everyday schedule they could forget they have a few questions to answer. If they don't respond to a phone call, it's okay to call them again.

I also learned a lot about photography. I had taken one photojournalism class at school, but taking good pictures for a newspaper was never something I was good at doing.

Having to take pictures that go with my articles and getting feedback helped me learn more about what looks best.

Another thing I learned is that people really are interested in what you do. I had a lot of my dad's friends that live in the Clarkston area send him clips of my articles, even though I haven't talked to his friends in years. I even had high school teachers and other students I write with at CMU tell me they looked forward to reading my new articles. It's always good to know that your work is being appreciated.

This internship has made me more excited to head back to school and finish my journalism degree.

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