Inside the Newspaper Industry


I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I’m enjoying working in the newspaper industry. I’m interning as a photographer at a large newspaper in Portland and have been busy photographing everything from hockey to Cirque Du Soleil. The past three weeks have really been a blur, and I love the fast pace.

This is the view outside my office. I took the photo using my iPhone and added a filter with Instagram.

Honestly, I’ve been surprised by how much I’m enjoying working at a newspaper. I’m a magazine journalism major and have always shied away from newspaper journalism because I assumed I wouldn’t like the fast pace of turning out stories and writing in a hard-hitting, factual way. But this internship has changed my previous bias against newspapers.

Recently, there were some stories in the paper on the history of Packy, the elephant at the Oregon Zoo, since it was his 50th birthday last Saturday. The package that was produced included video that I shot, photos and a couple of stories. The main feature story was written in a narrative fashion and really caught my attention. I was so impressed by the way the writing drew me into the story and made me care. It made me realize that newspapers include all kinds of stories written in both inverted pyramid and narrative styles.

I feel very lucky to have an internship at a newspaper because if I didn’t have this opportunity, I never would have realized how much I enjoy working at a paper. Now I feel like I would love to start a career at a newspaper, but I’m worried because everyone says newspapers are dying and won’t survive. If only I was born a decade or so earlier!

However, I have noticed the push towards producing more videos and online content at my internship. It’s really cool how photographers I work with are using their iPhones to take photos and then uploading the photos to Instagram to add cool filters. I think that’s a really great, innovative way to stay up-to-date in the journalism industry. So I still feel hopeful that newspapers can adapt to the changing times.

Alysha Beck

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13 Responses to Inside the Newspaper Industry

  1. Allyson Will says:

    Your internship sounds awesome! That is so great that you were able to realize a new interest you didn’t know before. It is such a good feeling to take a chance and have it work out for the best. The same thing happened to me when I took a last minute internship opportunity to please my parents. I had no interest in working with radio but it ended up changing my entire focus in school. That is really cool how people in your company use Instagram! Congrats on your internship!

  2. codynewton says:

    I think it would be interesting to learn more about the newspaper industry. I would have to admit that I still retain some of my biases towards newspapers, but I know they have so much to offer. I think it’s cool that you’re willing to dive in to your internship with an open mind. I’d don’t think it would have been as enjoyable for you if you just assumed you’d dislike it because it’s a newspaper.

    It sounds like you’ve really made the best of things over there and it’s turned out great for you.

    Have fun!

  3. I’m so jealous of the great assignments you’ve gotten to work on at your newspaper internship, it sounds like a blast! It’s amazing that you have already done so much in just three weeks. Are there any stories you’re hoping that you’ll get to work on during your time at the newspaper? I also think it is great that you have discovered a new interest in working for a newspaper. I find it interesting that newspaper people are using Instagram, I would have thought that they would have seen it as ruining photography or something. It’s obviously not because that is a great picture in your post!

  4. michelletag says:

    I liked how you discussed the changes taking place in the newspaper industry, even with photography. I never thought that newspaper journalists would use their iPhones to take pictures for a story! That is quick thinking though. I would be nervous about entering the newspaper world, especially since some people claim it’s a “dying industry.” For me, there is nothing like holding a newspaper in your hands and that goes for books and magazines as well. Good for you for finding a new interest! There is no better time than now to discover a new passion.

  5. wilsonemily says:

    I’m glad that you’ve discovered a newfound love for working at a newspaper! Narrative pieces are great to tell stories and it’s awesome that you get to be a part of that! And as for newspapers dying, I think there will always be innovative ways to adapt to the changing industry; one that includes photography like yours! Keep up the great work and good luck on the rest of the internship!

  6. rkaapu says:

    This is a wonderful post Alysha. It is so wonderful that you have been able to discover a whole new side to journalism and realize that you love it. I think that newspapers have definitely slowed down but still exist and the industry is constantly coming up with ways to stay relevant and useful. With photography talent like yours, I think there will always be a space in the industry for you. I really liked your image. Good luck!

  7. I’m honestly really jealous of the assignments you’ve described. It sounds like they really trust your skills at the paper. It’s great that this internship has opened up new opportunities that you hadn’t considered previously. Yes, the newspaper industry isn’t what it once was. But many papers are still the backbones of the journalism industry. It sounds like you’ve got some indispensable talent and I wouldn’t be too worried if you want to get a job at a paper.

  8. pdxsx says:

    Well done, Alysha! So happy that you are enjoying yourself and have found several ways to keep busy and interested. Great Instagram pic as well!

    ~J

  9. I’ve been seeing that push towards more multimedia online as well even in the nonprofit sector where I am interning. My supervisor has been using her iPhone to shoot content that needs to go up to a Facebook or Twitter account and by using an iPhone, rather than more sophisticated video equipment, it’s simpler and faster to upload those videos.
    It sounds like you are making an impact at your organization. I’m sure with the that the experience you’re gaining there will help you find a spot in the industry.
    Also, I have to add that I am SO jealous you got to go to Circ! 🙂

  10. asharonson says:

    Alysha,

    Your internship looks amazing and it sounds like you get to experience a lot of cool things. The great thing about our industry is that we work will all kinds of people and events, so we learn a little something about everything.

    Don’t be to hard on yourself with the whole “newspaper is a dying industry” thing. They will always be online and photographs will still be important.

    I can’t wait to hear more about your internship! Keep up the good work!

  11. Like you, I kinda shied away from newspaper journalism and stuck more with magazine, especially through my experience with Ethos; but I must admit I’m really shocked at what you discovered while being thrilled at the same time. While I’m a PR major, part of me really misses photojournalism and wishes I would’ve stuck with it. It’s also fun to entertain the idea that with this profession, it’s not rude to have your phone out at work when using it to capture a moment via picture (and/or Instagram) or take a video. Congrats on being able to work with Packy and put together a great multimedia piece. I can’t wait to see it!

    Good luck on your future endeavors and assignments within your internship! I’m sure you’re going to rock them!

  12. shannonkluss says:

    First of all, you took that photo with your Iphone?! You are making Zuckerberg a proud man.

    It’s great to hear another side to this internship process – where you thought you knew what you wanted and what you didn’t want and yet are now pleasantly surprised and wide-eyed. I think that says a lot about our generation; adaptable and open-minded.

  13. agavette says:

    I think sometimes you never know what you’re going to really enjoy doing until you’re thrown into it. That’s great that you’ve found something unexpected already. I also think it’s true that newspapers are trying to adapt to new things–especially since the livelihood of the paper is on the line in some cases. My supervisor has told me on a few different occasions that you really need to have extra skills like multimedia storytelling, photography or social media proficiency these days. That just gets you every little bit ahead of the curve, so to speak–so it’s great that you’ve been able to grow in those areas with this internship. Can’t wait to see some of your finished stuff!

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