Tag Archives: Interns

The Sun’s Annual Youth Movement

Attentive readers may have noticed a new byline on Wednesday’s front page, just under the photos of the Sun’s famous new neighbors.

Jeanette Scarsdale,* seen at the left, pinch hit for Steve Gardner to cap off the story of the downtown fish statues and didn’t do a bad job for her second day at work — and only her third or fourth day in the Pacific Northwest.

Jeanette’s new to the Sun, and new to the area, coming to us from the humidity of South Texas. She’s a San Antonio native and a student at Texas A&M-Corpus Christie. She’s also our summer intern, continuing a program here that adds a jolt of energy (and another newsroom hand) to the summer months (i.e. vacation time). We typically host one or two interns each summer, as well as occasional fall and spring interns when the situation allows.

Next week we’ll add Olympic College student Ted Copeland to our mix as well. Ted’s a Bremerton High grad and planning to attend UW in the future. Look for his name on photos in the coming weeks.

Internships aren’t only important in adding a summer back-up here. Our newsroom managers and reporters take the role of mentoring pretty seriously, and we have always tried to give students a true picture of what the job is like. By the end of an internship a student understands what it takes to be a journalist, knows how much fun a newsroom can be and knows what kind of effort it takes to get the news out each day, and hopefully has a few clips to prove all of that. We start newsroom interns on the basics — taking police reports, writing a story from a meeting, taking a photo — before planning either a special series or reporting project that caps off the experience. (Last fall’s intern, Tara Garcia Mathewson, did just that in partner with staffer Chris Henry, and was honored by the Society of Professional Jouranlists for her work). Sometimes our interns even teach our journalists a thing or two about multi-media reporting through video or web design. In the past we’ve hired interns on as staff members, or kept them working as freelance writers or photographers while they finish up classes. At least one of our recent interns is now an education reporter in Michigan, and another is looking for work in the field after graduating today. (I know because she’s already called to ask about job advice.)

So, what if you know a student interested in journalism?

Typically our internships evolve in four ways: 1.) Through the Olympic College journalism program, where students at the Bremerton campus earn credit for doing 120 hours of newsroom work. They come on the recommendation of an advisory there, and have completed a sequence of classes prior to any internship. 2.) Through the Scripps Howard Foundation, which pays a stipend to summer interns from universities that have a relationship with the Foundation. That’s how Jeanette arrived here. 3.) Through Northwestern University’s Medill School, which has a class that places students in newsrooms for eight weeks. 4.) By having a professor or advisor at a college suggest a student for placement to earn credit for a class. This is more the exception because we have existing relationship with certain schools, but not unheard of. After all, we do like playing that mentor role for the students that are the future of our industry.


*I almost titled this one “Introducing Jeanette Scarsdale,” but thought the blog might benefit from a new phrase in the headline. I’m getting predictable.