Hearing from our summer interns

Last week we promised that we would let our summer reporting interns share their experiences with you.  But before we do, here’s a quote from Robert Estabrook, the celebrated owner of The Lakeville Journal and The Millerton News during the 1970s and into the mid-1980s: “With all its failings and imperfections, journalism still offers an exciting way to help save the world.”

 

Emma Benardete

Oberlin College

Recipient of the 2023

Robert Estabrook Award

The most rewarding part of the experience has definitely been participating in a crucial but endangered form of media.

Local journalism is on the decline and it means a lot to me to be a part of a great effort to keep it going in our community. There are so many wonderful and important things happening in this area that would be relegated to obscurity if not for the work of The Lakeville Journal and The Millerton News.

I’ve been fortunate enough to cover local nonprofit organizations that rely on local support such as Lucky Orphan Horse Rescue and The Wetland Trust.

I’m also working on reporting about affordable housing in Amenia, where I live, which I am hopeful will serve to provide clarity to Amenia residents about the ongoing projects and what work is still to be done.

 

Colleen Flynn

Marist College

I was beyond nervous to start as an intern here, I wasn’t sure if I would fit in or learn the style of writing quickly enough, I had a bunch of insecurities starting despite everyone during my interview process being the sweetest people. I quickly found that my own style of writing was valued, while also learning many new methods of writing and formatting.

I also didn’t expect to work so closely with an editor, even though it is a journalism internship, I think it just didn’t cross my mind for some reason. I absolutely love being able to work alongside Emily [Edelman], she has given me endless pieces of advice that I will be able to carry with me throughout my internship and journalism career. She has also made sure I am comfortable with each event I am assigned to, for the first event I went to she called me the day before and laid everything out for me, what to expect, what to do, and how to introduce myself to people I interview.

My best story, or at least the one I enjoyed writing the most was for the Veterans One Stop Facility. I have done a handful of projects for my classes about veterans and how their mental health suffers, so I was happy that I was picked to write about this facility. This topic is also very important to me because my dad was a veteran, so I loved seeing that there is a safe spot, in my own community, for veterans to go to and reach out for help whenever they need it.

I think I have always wanted a future in journalism, once I figured out my major, of course, I love the idea of being able to tell different people’s stories for them. I think this is such a special gift to have and to give to the public. Not everyone can put their stories or charisma into words, and journalists are able to do that, and I cannot wait to keep learning how to do that for people.

 

Sadie Leite

Tufts University

Recipient of 2021, 2022
Robert Estabrook Award

This is my third year at The Lakeville Journal, and it’s been a pleasure like always. So far, I’ve covered algae, education, and a particular community club that taught me the word “cavy” is interchangeable with guinea pig.

The best story I researched and wrote was the “pollinator meadow” story which explained a biodiversity project completed by two seniors from the Salisbury School who graduated in the Spring. The school’s hillside facing 44 is now a wildflower meadow, scraped and replanted with many species, so the environment is not a monoculture turf. This also might’ve been the most rewarding because the interview I had with the two graduates was very informative. They both cared a lot about climate change and thought critically about how to express their efforts to me. I’m glad their story made the front page.

I didn’t expect to have a seminar with a fellow Lake­ville Journal reporter who now works for The New York Times as a copy editor. I learned a lot of valuable skills about editing and the use of words, and I got a brief view into what it would be like to have that job, which was very useful, as I’m reaching the point where I will indeed need a job.

On that note, I am definitely considering a career in journalism. I’m headed to Tufts in the fall for my last year in college. An entry level journalism job could easily be a place of comfort and learning for me after graduation. I love writing and making a career out of it has always been the goal.

 

Emma Spindler

Kent School

Litchfield County has a lot of small events, held in various towns, and for a variety of purposes. Talking to people, in the places they feel comfortable, with the things they’re passionate about, has really reminded me that every story counts. Newspapers can feel distant as they report news from thousands of miles away, but local papers can ground you, as they tell the story of a local store opening, or a farmers market on a Friday.

I live close to Sharon Hospital and I know and feel how essential it is, both as a medical institution but also as a community pillar. Its internship program for high school students resonated with me, because as a fellow high schooler, I know how important it is to have exposure to jobs that are educational as well as practical to help decide how I want to contribute to both my local community, but also society in general.

While I am not sure what I will do in the future, I know from my experience at The Lakeville Journal  that it will be people and advocacy based. I have really enjoyed listening to people share stories about the matters closest to them, and I have gained an appreciation for simple curiosity and problem solving because of it.

Interns, from left, Colleen Flynn, Emma Spindler and Emma Benardete. Photo by Patrick L. Sullivan

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