Writing and Responsibility at Current.org

Sophie at Current.Org

By Dean’s Intern Sophie Barnes at Current.Org

Last week, I saw my name in print for the first time.

When I visited the Current.org offices at the end of the Fall semester for an orientation tour, my managing editor Karen Everhart put this project on my future plate. I initiated my internship by calling congressional offices and non-profits, and combing through databases to inform my project.

I was updating Current’s congressional directory. The paper I intern with focuses strongly on the public media field – which gets much of it’s funding from the government. Our guide was an important primer for anyone in the field concerned about public media funding. And I wrote biographies for some key new players for this updated iteration of the guide, which detailed important votes key members and their committees, and information about everyone’s stance on public broadcasting.

This type of responsibility I got from this inaugural project really shows how lucky I am to have been chosen for the Dean’s Internship program. In my first month, the managing editor trusted me with a project that spread over the middle two pages of the print edition.

I feel lucky to have that responsibility while still in college. It’s an important introduction to what the much discussed and feared “real world.” In the future, employers will assign me a task and expect to see it done well. Having an internship that gives you such a realistic experience is valuable in every field. Journalism is fast-paced and things change quickly, though, so practicing the basic skills of writing and researching at Current will directly help me in the future.

As a procrastinator, so I must admit I’ve had some practise writing and researching under a time crunch for years. Now, I get to do it in a professional environment. Everyone that I work with has been in the field for years. When I talk about a story, my editors and co-workers can suggest angles to examine and questions to ask I would have never thought of. They have been covering public media for years – over 15 years in some cases. When my editor asks me about an angle I didn’t consider, sometimes I feel a flicker of embarrassment. But the more articles I write for Current, the more I find these road signs helpful.

I’ve been at Current for about six weeks now. I’m really starting to get the hang of how I can really fit in with the pace of the office. Next time, hopefully I’ll be writing about some articles that I’ve pitched for myself to do.

Thanks for reading!