Bringing the Nation’s Capital to Southwest Colorado

Michael at the arrival of Marine One at the White House

By Dean’s Intern Michael Cipriano at The Durango Herald

Anybody ever hear of The Durango Herald?

I know I never did until I started looking at the SOC Dean’s Internship program. The Herald is a newspaper local to the city of Durango in southwest Colorado.

But I was intrigued by the idea that I would ne the paper’s Washington, D.C. correspondent. I have dreamed of entering the field of political journalism, and I had experience covering politics during the summer of 2014, when I interned for RealClearPolitics.

The experience so far has been everything I could have hoped for. It started with the paper flying me to Colorado to explore the city of Durango. Along with seeing the city’s natural beauty, I also became familiar with the federal issues that are important to Coloradans.

I have been since been extensively covering Colorado’s federal legislature, including Sen. Michael Bennet, the newly elected Sen. Cory Gardner and District 3 Rep. Scott Tipton.

One of my first major assignments was to cover President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech. It was an amazing experience. After the speech concluded, I raced to Statuary Hall to interview Rep. Tipton before filing a story just before the nighttime deadline.

I have also covered topics such as methane emissions, hemp legislation, wildfire funding and ISIS.

Another big story I have been focusing on is immigration. It has been an ongoing issue throughout the semester, and has become especially prevalent in recent days after a federal judge blocked the president’s executive order from November.

While the paper does assign me stories it wants covered, I have the ability to be a self-starter and propose my own stories. Some of my work gets done from home, but I have also made several trips to Capitol Hill. This Wednesday, I will be meeting first-hand with Rep. Tipton in his office shortly before he introduces the Native American Indian Education Act.

It has only been six weeks, and I have already written about more subjects than I expected to when I accepted the internship. I am living my dream before I have even graduated college, and I am very forward to what the next nine weeks have in store for me.