I am not a Kentuckian.
I am from a small town in rural, central Virginia. And I'm darn proud of it, too. But during my time with The Anderson News I realized how similar communities can be despite being separated by more than 400 miles and countless mountains and rolling hills.
Covering the local little league baseball beat, I was entrenched in a community that loved to be out with friends, cheer on their children and enjoy each other's company. It seemed as though every parent knew each other and I was one of the community's members.
It didn't matter I didn't speak with the same twang they did, they were genuinely interested in what I had done in my brief career, what I was doing with The Anderson News, and how I was enjoying my time.
I covered much of the little league season, and in doing that I took all my own photos. I had zero photography experience prior to this, but I enjoyed learning and even had a picture of a skateboarder featured on the front page of the paper for a story I did on the new skate park.
Among other things, I covered a high school tennis regional tournament match in Frankfort, I previewed an upcoming play, and took photos from around the city of Lawrenceburg ranging from new signs being added, to beauty pageants, to a bank that had just been robbed.
Not only have I learned a lot about taking and toning pictures, but I've also learned a lot about design and how to lay out pages. I now feel comfortable using Photoshop and InDesign because of it. I've also learned a lot about what goes in to providing news the community really cares about.
It's not just the bank robberies, the firings and scandals. It's upcoming events, it's voting dates, fairs and church activities, too.
I still want to dip my journalism pen into the realm of public relations, but interning with The Anderson News truly opened my eyes to what journalism is all about. Though I didn't write the piece, it was during my time with the paper that we exposed curious spending with the tourism commission in Anderson County. Immediately a special meeting was held and action took place.
It was a real life experience of what we learn about each day in the classroom; journalism is a watchdog for the people. It was really cool to be a part of the newspaper that exposed that, and it reassured my faith in both the future of journalism and the need for newspapers.
My time with The Anderson News has been a great experience and one I am happy to have been given the opportunity to have.
I still am not a Kentuckian, but part of me does feel like a resident of Anderson County.