Compared to previous summers, where I changed diapers and brewed lattes for money, I've got it made. I'm interning at the Santa Monica Daily Press, where I'm actually getting to report and write for publication almost every day. I even get my own desk with a computer and a phone (this is a big deal for a lowly intern). The editors are very nice and casual and after a few more weeks I will be able to start pitching my own articles in addition to reporting on what they assign me. I think my experience at the Oberlin Review has prepared me well for this position. Even though it's a student publication, we're extremely professional about interview etiquette, fact checking, and style. It's been a great training ground for real world journalism. In fact, during Commencement/Reunion week we had a social for alums of the Review, and almost everyone who came is now a professional journalist, working at newspapers, magazines, and TV stations across the country. After hearing how impossible it is for young journalists nowadays to get a job, this was very encouraging! This year I had the pleasure of meeting several famous journalists who are Obie alums, including Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich of RadioLab fame, Bob Drogin of the LA Times D.C. bureau, and Dennis Redmont of the Associated Press.
I managed to snag lots of business cards at the social--this is vital for making connections--and plan to send some of my work around with their help. The Alumni office and the Office of Career Services at Oberlin is also great for getting students in touch with alums in their field. Who knows what job you could land with some extra help?
People love to go on and on about how journalism is a sinking ship and the Internet will kill everything, but I know that the industry can adapt and thrive as it has done in the past. People said that TV would kill radio, and they soon ate their words. So this summer at my internship I'm trying to adapt as well, and I hope I can carve out a unique niche that people haven't given enough attention. Wish me luck!