I’ve been teased a time or two about the disdain I must have for math and science as a journalist, but the truth is, we journalists love math and science. In fact, many of us have made storytelling an exact science — slap together a lede, a nut graf and a few direct quotes, and you’ve got yourself an article. It’s a formulaic approach that has seen me through plenty of deadlines.
My internship at the Franklin Favorite this summer became a bit of a variable in my scientific equation, though.
After already having a couple of internships under my belt, I didn't really need the Journalism 101 lessons .... you know, the art of interviewing, how to file an open records requests, this is a lede, that's libelous and don't forget your spare pen.
But my editors didn't make me spend any time brushing up on the basics this summer, and I got to be more than a news hunter-gatherer, finding and distributing facts with my tried-and-true assembly line approach. I became a storyteller, telling stories in my own way in my own words, throwing to the wayside the overused newspaper jargon I've picked up in my lifetime as a media consumer and my adulthood as a media producer.
And my friends at the Favorite let me be more than a writer. I got to be a photographer and a guest on the paper's sister radio station, WFKN — both experiences that produced valuable lessons that are now part of my journalism toolkit.
Though I'll be sad to say goodbye to the Favorite, Franklin and the friends I've made along the way, I will at least get to take with me a few lessons learned — and maybe a few extra pounds from all the Franklin fast-food I've consumed.