Home From The Editor Valuable lessons from a new generation

Valuable lessons from a new generation

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After a yearlong hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am pleased to announce LOCAL Community News has restarted its newsroom internship program.

During the last decade, more than two dozen aspiring journalists have trained at LOCAL, often during the summer when students traditionally are out of school.

Over the years, LOCAL has helped many of these young reporters go on to full-time jobs at daily or weekly newspapers, or gotten them placed in public-relations or marketing positions.

No matter what profession the interns eventually chose, the feedback we receive about our program has almost always been positive and life-affirming.

For the first time, we are offering the program as a paid gig instead of college credit only. We’ve also updated the job description from “news intern” to “editorial assistant” to more fully convey the range of duties.

Semantics, yes. No matter what, though, the position calls for a bright, eager and inquisitive young reporter, and this summer we’ve found one in Justin Kraiza, a University of the Incarnate Word mass-communication student.

Justin has only just started in our newsroom, but already he shows great promise.

In addition to working as an editor on the Logos online student newspaper at UIW, he’s also produced a documentary featuring his grandmother talking about the miraculous survival of his ancestors during an earthquake in Italy and their relocation to the New World.

It’s called  “Marilyn and The Morreale Family: A Documentary” and you can find it on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujXVRgscwF4.

I also have to thank the instructors who have inspired Justin and his peers, past and present. I am always pleased by the level of support and interest these teachers show in our program, principally at UIW, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, the University of Texas at San Antonio and Trinity University.

Justin has reminded me once again that in spite of dire predictions for the news industry, many young people still see a future in the profession.

One message I’ve shared in earlier columns, and with journalism students when I speak to their classes, is this: Whether it’s information imparted by a cave painting or a hologram, communities will always hunger for news.

The trick for those of us in the news profession is to continue adapting to the changing platforms.

Editorial assistants hear the same rules I stress to the full-time and more seasoned reporters (these maxims always bear repeating): Show fairness, accuracy and impartiality in every story you write.

I also touch on the other building blocks of our craft, which include informing, entertaining and educating readers, and the importance of meeting deadlines.

To serve vital information needs, these components are critically important.

Now it’s time to see what Justin can do this summer. I have no doubt he’s going to teach me a thing or two.

tedwards@localcommunitynews.com

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