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.
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.