>I just got back from a funeral for my Great-Aunt Edna Sousa, who was 100 years old. Yes, 100, plus 3 1/2 months. We should all look so good at that age.
Although the loss and the burial were sad, it was great to meet up with family members I don’t often see. One of those is my cousin Kelly Enos, who is studying journalism. She contacted me recently for advice on finding an internship, and by golly, she’s going to be working for the papers I worked at before I moved to Oregon. I can’t say it’s the same company because it’s been sold twice and is currently known as Silicon Valley Community Newspapers. When I worked there, it was part of the Metro chain.
An internship is a vital part of a journalist’s education. It gives a person a chance to work in the real world side by side with the pros. If things work out well, it may lead to a regular job. That happened to me way back at the Milpitas Post, where I prepared the community calendar on the first day and took over the “Cook of the Week” feature. I did a lot of other things there and went on to work for the Suburban Newspapers chain for several years.
Those were the days, covering a sleepy company (Ford) town in the foothills north of San Jose. We used typewriters and carbon paper, processed photos in an old-fashioned darkroom that reeked of chemicals, and transported materials between offices by car. Desktop computers were still a decade away. However, the excitement of those first deadlines and fingers-to-the-keyboard experience has not changed.
If you are trying to get into the business and haven’t had the benefit of a college journalism program, see if you can find an internship at a paper near you. Just call and ask who you can talk to about it. These are usually not paid positions, but the experience and the clips are worth the investment of your time, and newspapers always need more help.
Best of luck to Kelly and to all of you in your endeavors.