I just wanted to take a moment before my internship ended this afternoon to thank everyone at the Oklahoman for their guidance this summer during my internship.
The generosity and leadership displayed by the editors and staff here allowed me to further my skills. Over the last two months, I felt I was able to contribute in significant areas in the newsroom. I appreciate your time in answering all my (many) questions or taking time to mentor an intern.
A special thank yous to my fellow interns for all their kindness and generousity over the last two months. I worked with a lot of talented, amazing individuals. I sincerely wish you all the best of luck in whatever you decide to do in journalism or outside of it.
A huge thank you goes to my mentors Don Gammill and Richard Hall for always taking time even with deadlines or multiple projects to help guide, mentor and sharing any wisdom they had to offer for this intern.
Winston Churchill had this quote I feel sums up this phase of my young journalism career. “This isn’t the end. This isn’t even the beginning of the end. However, this is the end of the beginning.”
Thank you again for everything.
It’s my last day as a local desk intern at The Oklahoman. I’ve never been good with goodbyes, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Here are some things I’ve learned this summer.
- Wherever I am in the world, there’s going to be someone kind enough to help me out.
- I can be miles and miles from home and actually survive.
- Singing in the car is a great stress reliever. Eric Church’s “Springsteen” was a summer favorite.
- I’m leaving this summer with a more conversational style of writing.
- As a journalist, I might have to dig through someone’s trash to find the facts.
- The story isn’t in my notes, it’s in my head.
- Compassion is important in journalism.
- Blue-green algae is toxic, especially to children and animals.
- Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the busiest days for 911 calls.
- The scissor-tailed flycatcher is Oklahoma’s state bird.
This is only a taste of what I’ve learned. If I listed everything, I’d be writing forever. I’ve enjoyed my time in Oklahoma and at the paper. I’m excited about what my future holds. Soon, I’ll be “Back Home Again in Indiana.”
While working on several stories this summer, I have had to pause and ask myself:
- What are my intentions in writing this story?
- Am I emotionally invested in this story?
- If so, is it hindering my storytelling?
- How can I tell this story the most objectively?
One such instance was while working on a veterans and PTSD project with health reporter Jaclyn Cosgrove and fellow intern Darryl Golden. We took an entire work day to travel to James Crabtree Correctional Center in Helena, where we interviewed incarcerated veterans about their mental health and experiences returning home from war.
I’m not going to lie. I was a little apprehensive about visiting the prison. I knew it would be a great experience and would expand my comfort zone as a reporter, but being in a room with 50 inmates who had committed violent crimes put me a little on edge. After sitting through the center’s veterans club meeting, I easily saw that the veterans were ordinary people, but had made poor life choices. They had experienced the horrors of war, they felt sorry for the crimes they committed and they missed their families. By the end of our interviews, I had forgotten that we were talking to inmates at a prison.
My part of the project was to write a story about a flag afghan project the veterans club started in 2007. The veterans crochet flag afghans for other veterans and families of fallen service members. I wanted my story to embody the caring nature of the veterans, which I had experienced during my visit. I had heard about their troubles and wanted to present their project in the best light possible. After I finished writing the story, I realized I never mentioned why the men were in prison. Without even thinking, I left out their charges. It was as if I was empathizing with the veterans. I saw that they were truly sorry for the crimes they committed and didn’t want the horrible nature of the crimes, many of them murder, to taint the story.I spoke with Jaclyn about including the charges and she said that they had to be in the story. Deep down, I knew they needed to be included. Like it or not, these veterans committed crimes and that’s why they’re in prison. I included the charges and I think the final product has a sense of compassion, but one that is fair and unbiased. The story explains that these veterans have committed horrible crimes and now they’re serving time and comforting others in need.
This summer, I’ve learned that sometimes as a reporter, I’m going to feel for sources, situations and issues. It’s my duty to find the middle ground. Compassion can exist in journalism.
Nicholas Kristof is a prime example of a journalist who shows compassion through his work. Read or listen to Krista Tippett’s interview with Kristof as he talks about compassion and journalism on Tippett’s show On Being.
It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks interning at The Oklahoman. I’m always asked the same two burning questions by my friends or fellow student journalists: “What do you do at the Oklahoman?” and “How do you like working there?”
I currently work for as the online communities intern in the social media hub on the 9th floor. Online communities pertains to the “know it” topics and their expansive library. If you’re unfamiliar with the “know its,” they pool together information, resources and articles published in The Oklahoma and on NewsOK into an online library.
These topics are developed as a joint multimedia project, using all of the OPUBCO newsgathering sources, from reporters to photographers, videographers, data research personnel and archivists, as well as from wire services, syndicates and other sources.
If you ever wanted to know more about any of the “know it” topics, ranging from addiction to mental health, cultural awareness to finance, recreation to Sam Bradford, there is a “know it” section created for each and every one of them.
But there also are the online communities. Edmond, Midwest City, Norman, Oklahoma City and Yukon serve as the hub of each community, which also includes surrounding towns and areas. Not only are there stories, photos and resource material compiled by Oklahoman and NewsOK staff members, but there are contributions from readers.
If you want to contribute information, praise or promote events in your area, you can do so by adding the following emails to your mailing list.
email@example.com — firstname.lastname@example.org — email@example.com — firstname.lastname@example.org — email@example.com
Each community’s site has instructions on how to send in material. Just follow the directions.
Every morning, I come in armed with an AP Stylebook, cup of coffee and my own offbeat sense of humor as I sort through reader-submitted releases and news. I copy edit these releases and send them to Communities Editor Don Gammill or on occasion Metro Editor Kimberly Burk for the “News From You” page that runs each Saturday in The Oklahoman.
Occasionally, I will write about one of these topics featured in the “know it” library on our Know It blog and I’ll tweet out Don’s traffic column and “know it” related items on my personal twitter account.
What I love about journalism is investigative reporting, open records, entertainment writing and seeing language put to good use.
That’s “know its,” my internship and me. If you have questions, send me a note.
I know it was sad to see the Thunder lose tonight. But for me, the evening was important for another reason.
I met a former Oklahoman reporter who now works with a government organization that encourages people to quit smoking.
I learned from our conversation that goals in life will change, and you should define yourself by what you love and maybe not what you do from day to day.
She is a great writer. She knew she wanted to be a writer in 5th grade. After college, she joined the Associated Press, and she was a state desk reporter at the Oklahoman until just two years ago. That was right after her son was born, and she decided to take another job so she could spend more time with her family.
We talked about professors and the journalism program at Ball State, where we both graduated. We talked about why the Oklahoman has such a great internship program – because they take time to teach and encourage people who are spending the summer there.
And we talked about how Southern Indiana girls find their way to Oklahoma. She never thought she would stay here, but then she fell in love with the city and with the man who would become her husband. And I smiled, sitting across from her at the table, eating cotton candy and thinking about how things work out.
She said she misses the newsroom and the adrenaline rush of writing on deadline. But she’ll always be a writer. And I might be that way, too. I’ll be passionate about news but also about my future family. For now, I’m just thankful to be here.
Before I ever dreamed about going back to college to pursue a degree in journalism, I worked in hospitality and food management for several years in New York City. From 2004 to 2006, one of those stops included working as a general manager for a popcorn company in the heart of Times Square and on the upper west side of Manhattan.
That company is called “Popcorn Indiana”. Today, Popcorn Indiana can be found in a variety of grocery and drug stores. The company is known for two things: its signature chocolate caramel gourmet popcorn and that legendary former NBA point-guard, former Knicks general manager — and anti-Sam Presti — Isiah Thomas owns a stake in the company.
Working in the heart of Times Square, you witness a lot of shenanigans on a day-in-day-out basis. If I shared a lot of these stories with NewsOK intern blog readers, you would never want to eat at any sort of quick-service food establishment again and I could possibly be sued for libel.
The only story I can share is that I was forced out of my office on my birthday by Barbara Walters’ assistant so the famous TV personality could change her outfit.
Barbara Walters’ father was having a street named for him on 48th and Broadway that day. I was in my office, talking to a co-worker about her stint working in the marketing department for Marvel Comics, when the door swung open. A woman with glasses exclaimed, “You need need to leave now!”
“Excuse me?” I said.
Then, in walked Walters.
A non-printable word followed by “It’s Barbara Walters!” fumbled out of my mouth to my co-worker in a state of shock over the absurdity taking place.
I was telling a few of these lurid tales to my fellow intern, Conner Rohwer, and my boss Communities Editor Don Gammill. Both of them in their own way suggested I write a blog about the things I learned in the restaurant industry in New York City, which apply to what I have learned in journalism.
Teamwork is essential. It takes more than one person to run a restaraunt and it takes more than one person to put together a newspaper.
You had better be willing to put in a lot of hard work, long hours and effort to get noticed. Both fields don’t necessarily pay a lot of money, so you need to be passionate about what you’re doing. It shows when you’re not.
Never sit around on your laurels. Always try to be pro-active or find work if you’re not busy.
Be tough on your own personal standards, but easy on people. Both industries are a people-driven.
Even when you’re driven from your own office.
Zola Jesus – In Your Nature (David Lynch Remix)
Zola Jesus is ordinarly not a fan of remixes, but when you have an opportunity to let director David Lynch reinterpret your work, how could one pass up the chance?
I enjoy this song, because it’s different than anything out there currently in pop music. It’s dark, forebodding and sultry all at the same time.
I’m still waiting for this internship to feel like actual work.
Even though it’s barely been two weeks, I have already done some pretty cool things. But so far, week two is looking a lot better than week one. In the past two days I have been on Oklahoma’s only zip line tour and I’ve interveiwed jazz’ fastest growing star, Esperanza Spalding.
Esperanza Spalding came out of nowhere in 2011 and won the Grammy Award for best new artist. She beat Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence and the Machine and Mumford and Sons. She’s kind of awesome. Her music is beautiful.
If Matt knew how easily I get startstruck, he might have second guessed giving me the story. One time I froze up completely when I met the host of a BYU-TV cooking show I was on in college. As if mormon cooking show hosts are famous.
Anyway, I didn’t make a complete fool of myself. I had a great conversation with her and found out some pretty cool things that I’ll probably never use for the article, but sometimes my curiousity gets the better of me.
Today, I got to go out to a zip line they built just outside of Tulsa. I met some great people, had good interviews and I conquered my fear of heights. This thing was more than 50-feet off the ground, and they expect you to just step right off the platform and trust the harness won’t break and send you falling to your death*.
Originally, I was just going to get information because I didn’t have a camera with me, but they literally forced me into a harness against my will and made me walk to the top. OK, that didn’t happen. But it almost felt like it.
I don’t feel like this has been work. This internship has already given me some great memories and I can’t wait to make more this summer. I wasn’t about to pull my cell phone out and risk dropping it in the forest, so this is a random picture of a kid I found on the Internet. That might be creepy, but this is about what the forest looks like when you’re doing the tour.
*I know Joe had this fear for me, too, when Matt told me I would be doing this. I survived, though, and they put you through a quick training before you do the course.
I feel like it is my calling in life to spread the word about music people are unfamiliar with in attempt to familiarize them with musicians they are missing out on. One of my absolute favorite musicians is Ted Leo. If you ever have the chance to catch him live, do so. I have attended over a dozen Ted Leo shows anywhere from the South Street Seaport in New York City to my last show in 2010 at the Opolis located in Norman.
For those who aren’t familiar with Ted Leo’s music, he is a punk rock songwriter and musician currently based out of New York City. For those who haven’t heard Ted Leo, what you need to know is he sounds like a mixture of the Clash, Fugazi, The Jam and Elvis Costello. If you enjoy the sound of current musical acts such as Spoon or Jack White, then chances are you will enjoy Ted Leo.
He has played in countless bands ranging from the Sin-Eaters, Chisel, and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. To date, Leo has released nine different studio albums on a variety of independent music labels ranging from defunct Lookout! and Touch & Go labels, to his current label at Matador Records.
The following videos are just a small sampling of some of my (and my friend Shawn Davis) favorite Ted Leo and the Pharmacist songs.
“Me and Mia” from Shake the Sheets (2004)
One of my favorite things about the song is how it starts off slow then speeds up the tempo once it reaches the chorus. I find “Me and Mia” to be Ted Leo’s most irresistibly catchy song in his entire catalog.
“Bottled In Cork” from the Brutualist Bricks (2010)
“Bottled In Cork” was my favorite song for 2010. What I like about Leo’s songwriting is not only he is very descriptive with his words, but he manages to tell a story in his songs as well. Most of Ted Leo’s songs often have political overtone to them. “Bottled In Cork” is no exception.
“Hearts of Oak” from Hearts of Oak (2003)
Shawn Davis said since the first time he heard “Hearts of Oak” it’s always been his favorite Ted Leo song.
“I hear a lot of The Clash in this, which happens to be my favorite band,” Davis said. “Also, it’s just plain catchy – you can’t hear this and not want to dance. You just can’t. Great tune, great lyrics. It’s very inspiring.”
My post is a continuation of Garett’s recent post about the NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
Although I no longer play softball, it was a part of my life for many years. I played T-ball and started playing softball more competitively at age 10. I played on various travel teams based out of Southern Indiana and pitched for my high school team. I toyed with the idea of playing in college, but wanted to put more focus on building a career.
I grew up watching series-greats, such as Jennie Finch with University of Arizona, Cat Osterman with University of Texas and University of Tennessee’s Monica Abbott. I made it a goal to play at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium, or to at least visit the place where softball history is made.
This past week, I visited the stadium and it was an experience that was a long time in the making. It was great to see so many fans packed into a softball stadium, considering softball doesn’t get much recognition where I’m from. I soaked in the atmosphere and can’t wait to cheer on University of Oklahoma this evening as they battle University of Alabama in game 3 of the WCWS championship series.