Finding Opportunities for Immersive Journalism at USA TODAY

By Dean’s Intern Sara Wise at USA TODAY

Since returning to USA Today for another internship this summer, I’ve been working with the investigations team, collaborating on opportunities to visualize data and tell more immersive stories.

I work closely with the vice president of investigations to identify opportunities for data visualization and collaboration with the interactive graphics team. Because investigations are, of course, very long, I also have a lot of time to take on daily tasks. I pick up graphic assignments and attempt to complete my own in-depth projects.

In the summer, interns are treated to plenty of team-building and group activities to strengthen their reporting, collaboration and leadership skills. Plus, the company hosts its own celebrations here and there. Between complimentary happy hours held occasionally and other company celebrations (the summer is cool here!) I have met and made connections both with established reporters and interns who’ve yet to finish their undergraduate studies.

Back at my desk, the most challenging project this summer was creating a map to display the data associated with a story about Skype questions taken during White House pressers. After about three or four iterations of the graphic, I finally arrived at the finished product, which was, I think, the best possible way to display the information. I’m proud of the work done so far.

Through all of this, and since I first started with USAT in January, I have been learning full stack web programming. This may be one of the most rewarding parts of the job. Because of this position, I’ve been teaching myself to code in my own time.