A narrow focus leads to success

I’ve had a couple internships before this position at a small, community paper. And it took some time to appreciate the little things a nationally subordinate organization can offer. But to do so, one needs to be willing to look.focus1

It can be frustrating knowing that community journalism can be without constant glamour or potential for award-winning stories. But there are great stories to be found. Two-time Pulitzer winner Richard Read once said, “If you write a story to win an award, you won’t get one.”

Our focus is our small community. When one realizes that even a small community grows the more observant one becomes, he’ll find his worth.

What I mean is read the work of those around you and help where you can.

For example, I’ve wrote a story in nearly every section of our paper within the first two weeks working here. I’ve visited the local government and sat down on one of its monthly public presentations. And I’ve had a multiple conversations with colleagues on beautiful stories they’ve written and how they went about them. None of these took much effort but proved helpful in showing my effort to this paper. Additionally, it proves that stories being proud of are out there, such as a recent story by another writer on a woman dealing with bipolar disorder.

As a result, I think, my presence is known in this small office. I’ve been rewarded with assignments covering a federal lawsuit while working hours that best fit my life.

-Andrew Bantly

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6 Responses to A narrow focus leads to success

  1. Allie says:

    Congrats on making your presence known! I think it’s easy as interns to shy away from expressing yourself to the extent you would at a job that is more locked in, but it sounds like you are doing a great job of throwing yourself into your work.

  2. chriskeizur says:

    I think its a smart plan to spread out and try to dip into as many parts of the organization as possible. It shows your potential future employers that you are willing to do whatever it takes to help the company, and it helps you grow in the field. Instead of just shoehorning yourself into a single niche, its good to have a depth of experience so that you can step into any role asked of you. Plus its always great to see stuff published.

  3. hmaarchive says:

    I think this a key takeaway for all interns. The experience and insight you gain during the course of an internship alone is far more valuable than what most undergrads expect to achieve- like getting a big article published or receiving great pay. Taking small steps to get closer to a long term goal is a message all interns should hear. Your initiative and genuine interest of others work is clearly being recognized and rewarded by your team- great job!

  4. sydneyandree says:

    While interning at a large, well-known organization sounds like the most desirable and exciting scenario, there is so much to be said about interning in a smaller office. The meaningful relationships you build with your colleagues in this smaller workspace will last you a long time. And future employers will love to see how many great stories you wrote while working for a small, community paper. Keep it up!

  5. pdxsx says:

    Andrew, this is an outstanding post. It’s not about where you intern or where you start, it’s about what you do with the opportunity that you are given. I really enjoyed your insightful post. Well done.


  6. Ryan Delaney says:

    The line you wrote about understanding that even a small community grows really struck me. I completely agree, the more you take advantage of the situation you find yourself in, the better off you will be to learn and grow from that situation. Great write up!

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