On my first day, shorty after making the rounds of introductions, my training wheels fell off.
My boss emphatically slapped a picture of a sexual predator on my desk. “This is your first story,” he told me. I was surprised by the fact that I was already given a story assignment, but because the topic seemed so dark and unpredictable – I was floored.
The story, which will be in next Tuesday’s edition of the Clackamas Review, is in a few words, about neighbors concerns that an approved AT&T cell phone tower will overexpose them to radiation, devalue their homes and benefit a sexual predator.
Though I never had to deal with the daunting task of talking to the sexual predator, hearing neighbors stories about past health problems related to radiation made my eyes teary, but my head focused.
In Super J, teachers hammer home the important of journalism to a functioning society so much that I kind of took it for granted.
But talking to the neighbors provided me the wake up call I needed.
Still, for most of my internship I’m working in the more light-hearted Portland Tribune sports desk.
However, the New Orleans Pelicans locker room after losing a nail biter to the Blazers was anything but.
My job was to write a side story. Because the night before Kentucky improbably made it to the championship game of the NCAA Tournament and because Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis and Darius Miller went to Kentucky, I thought I’d write the sidebar on their reaction to the win and the UK basketball program.
But when I asked Davis about his thoughts on his alma mater’s victory, he said, “We don’t need to talk about that right now.” I politely obliged his request to avoid the topic. However, I had already interview Darius Miller, but needed more.
Thankfully, I remembered Tyreke Evans played for UK coach John Calipari at Memphis. Though he was in such a funk after the loss, I couldn’t hear a single word he said, my iPhone nabbed some good quotes and the story was complete.
This internship feels like a job and I couldn’t be happier.