Baran-Unland: How have you grown as a journalist this summer?
Barks: This summer personally I believe I've grown a lot as a journalist. With this internship, getting hands on experience and seeing how a newspaper is actually run and what reporting and writing articles is like in the "real world" and not just in a college bubble helped me immensely.
I was able to make mistakes and learn from them and improve. Since I was able to do that in a hands-on way, there are things I have learned here that I will always remember. I actually have a list in my reporter notebook of "Notes to Self" things I've learned along the way so that I can keep them for reference.
Writing for a college newspaper is very different from a real newspaper so I was able to figure that out and learn from it and tweak things in my writing to make it better. I also was able to learn how to place articles/pictures and templates for those on the newspaper pages through the editing software for the print editions.
This is very helpful because at school I wouldn't have learned that since the paper is online 98% of the time. I improved by asking the important questions and picking out what is most interesting and important to create that connection and interest from readers.
Baran-Unland: Where would you like to improve?
Barks: I believe there will always be ways I can improve and that's what I like; there's always things I'll be learning throughout life and my future careers and ways I can apply that to make myself better.
As of right now I would like to improve making my writing more concise so there are less and less things an editor has to take the time to go through and edit.
I also would like to improve the ideas I come up with; finding ideas and things within the community to write about is the backbone of the newspaper so continuously getting better at finding interesting and timely things happening in the community that people would be interested in and like to read about is something I will continue working on.
I am a shy and quiet person naturally so although, when interviewing, people I am able to come out of my shell more because I love it, I would still love to improve on being as personable as I can as I am learning their stories.
Lastly, asking the most important questions for the stories.