After being the summer intern for the Times-Union, I’ve learned many valuable lessons during my 2-1/2 months here.

However, let me start out by saying I was not too thrilled about interning for a newspaper in the beginning.

As a journalism major at Indiana University, I want my degree to focus on magazine and public relations. For years I’ve thought newspaper was dull and boring. I’d be lying if I said I don’t dream about living in a fully furnished loft in New York City drinking cosmopolitans and working for a magazine with the same name. But after my time here, I’ve gained so much more respect for and knowledge of the newspaper industry.

Not only have I improved my skills in writing and page design, but I’ve also acquired skills that a classroom will never teach me. I’ve gotten to experience the day-to-day flow of a newsroom. I’ve gotten to see how people in the office work together – whether they agree or disagree on something. I’ve been able to watch my fellow reporters work their hindquarters off to get a story perfect and ready for deadline. I’ve been able to watch my boss take phone calls from potential advertisers, complainers and thankful readers and see him handle each phone call with professionalism. I’ve also experienced missed deadlines and some story reporting that was considered “subpar.”

These are things readers do not get to see, experience or appreciate. I feel that if every supportive reader, along with everyone against this publication, were to experience a few days or weeks here, they would understand how difficult it sometimes is to produce a daily newspaper. They could see what it is like to obtain information and put it in to words so everyone can understand what is going on in the community around them.

I think people in the community don’t understand how important a newspaper or news truly is. Imagine something with me for a moment. Imagine that all sorts of publications no longer exist. This includes the Times-Union and all other print and online newspapers in Kosciusko County. Where would you go to find out what is happening? Who would you turn to? How would you know if a friend passed away? Or had an anniversary? Birthday? How about if someone close to you were arrested? All of these things are a staple in a hometown community newspaper, regardless of it being print or online.

I’m probably one of the only people my age, excluding my fellow classmates, who actually read and care about the news. I want to change that. I want to help people appreciate news when it is presented right in front of them. I want people to recognize what good journalism is. And let me tell you something – I’m working with people who understand it and perform it on a daily basis. After recently taking classes that stress ethics and what makes a good journalist, I think I’m pretty good at deciphering what good journalism is, and this qualifies as such.

When it comes down to it, I couldn’t have had a better first internship experience. Working here changed my opinions and faith on how the newspaper industry functions. I no longer find them dull. If anything, this experience made me more excited to become a journalist. It solidified my passion.