Vox let me interview strangers about the Russia-Trump probe. I might have taken it too far.

By Dean’s Intern Lindsay Maizland at Vox

“They’re driving your way!” my sister shouted over the phone. I immediately started running toward the street, hoping to stop two men who were driving around in a camouflage four-wheeler, with a huge American flag billowing behind them.

It was the Friday before the Fourth of July, and I had spent the whole day interviewing random people in my small town in Michigan. My question: What do you think of the Trump-Russia investigation?

Since starting my internship with Vox’s foreign team in January, the Trump-Russia probe has dominated our coverage, and rightly so. But I wondered whether people outside of the newsroom and D.C. cared.

I was returning to my rural, predominantly conservative and white hometown for the holiday weekend and figured it would be the perfect opportunity to find an answer. I pitched the idea, my editors approved it, and a few days later I was chasing the camo men. I ended up sprinting down my street to the neighborhood bank’s parking lot to interview them, and they actually offered a different perspective than other people I talked with.

Nearly every single person I spoke with said the same thing: The media just needs to leave Trump alone, and the Russia investigation is a distraction. Most were Trump supporters, except for the camo men. You can read the full article here.

This whole situation was far from a typical day at Vox. It was one of the most bizarre things I’ve done as a journalist so far, but I’m sure I’ll soon have many stories like this now that I’ve graduated and am looking for jobs as a full-time reporter.

After all that, my advice to new Dean’s Interns is to pitch stories you’re passionate about. Don’t be afraid to talk to your editors or supervisors about how you can do things that weren’t included in the job description. You might just end up doing something super unusual and exciting.