Attention all up-and-coming journalists: You don’t have to veer too far from home to become a rock star in the print and digital media world. Throughout the summer months, I highly recommend you take advantage of Small Town USA by apprenticing or interning at your local newspaper or community magazine.
Why? One word: access.
Because everyone knows everyone in rural communities, it’s easier to gather information and meet sources who are at times harder to get in touch with in larger cities. You will gain a better understanding of how your local government, economy, school system, community and tourism works, which makes you better equipped to handle big-city news and become more marketable.
I kid you not: Returning home during the summer months of college and interning at local newspaper The Baldwin Bulletin prepared me tremendously for the big leagues. The opportunity allowed me to connect with my community, learn how it operated and cover award-winning stories with veteran journalists.
Once you acquire all the reporting tools and techniques needed to write an impactful news or feature story, spend the remainder of summer pitching your work to employers. Here are my favorite job boards to upgrade your career after working backwoods beats: