Capturing the News for The Durango Herald

By Dean’s Intern Emily Martin at The Durango Herald

Emily MartinThis internship could not have been a better experience for me to start my career as a journalist. I have had experience from other organizations with reporting, writing and editing, such as my work at the Newseum, The Eagle and Artfinder – a London-based art marketplace, but I had not been in a professional newsroom yet. I applied to several internships, but I knew I wanted this one the most because of the independence and self-starter attitude it requires.

I started off my internship by traveling to Durango, Colorado, to meet the staff, including my supervisor, see the newsroom and learn more about the area. I got to drive to a nearby town, Cortez, which has a journal owned by the same family that owns the Herald. I left Colorado with so many story ideas, and came back armed and ready to meet the press people for the Colorado Senators and representative. One of the former interns also showed me around the Capitol, which was very surreal.

My first story was on none other than the Kavanaugh hearings. I emailed my editor asking if I could attend and pursue the story, since I had no classes that day, and he approved. I interviewed supporters and protesters outside the Dirksen Senate Office building, sat in the overflow for over 7 hours and live tweeted the entire thing. Many readers interacted with me on Twitter and seeing the effect of live coverage was enlightening as a skill I could use as a reporter. I also later wrote a story about how the fourth allegation, from a Colorado woman, was not discussed during the hearing. I did a more in-depth piece on the split between the two Senators on an FBI investigation. Being able to witness history in the making, while also reporting on it, which is something I love to do, was absolutely surreal. I even covered the subsequent protests and confirmation the following Saturday and was able to speak with several Colorado activists that had traveled to speak with the Senators.

Since then, I have written 7 pieces for the Herald, and each one has included several interviews with public officials. I am so incredibly grateful that the Herald has given me the tools I need to succeed while also expecting me to hold my own. The freedom I have to pitch and write stories while still thoroughly communicating with my editors has allowed me to take charge of my own stories and be a responsible reporter.