A journey worth traversing

Published 6:09 pm Tuesday, August 7, 2018

My internship at The Selma Times-Journal was nothing short of an enriching and informing experience.

My interest in journalism and my unwavering love for writing is what led me to apply for an internship at The Selma Times-Journal. My goal was to improve my writing skills, and learn more about being a reporter and relaying the news to the public. As time progressed, I learned more than I had expected to.

My internship at The Selma Times-Journal taught me more about the community I have lived in for years, and the people who live here.

I was never aware of the many locally owned businesses in Selma, or daily community events hosted to entertain the public and attract tourists. Upon first visiting these businesses and events, I soon found myself frequenting them and initiating conversations with those involved. It was through these conversations, and the interviews I conducted as a reporter, that my communication skills improved. My speaking enhancement allowed me to be able to thoroughly conduct interviews and achieve a chemistry with the interviewees.

I enjoyed working with The Selma Times-Journal staff. Each member had an interest in writing and specialized in different areas of news such as sports, politics and general community events. They did a great job assisting me and providing constructive criticism. Through the casual conversations we engaged in, I learned about what drove them to pursue journalism. While some actively pursued the career, some did not expect to fall into the field and ended up enjoying it. Working alongside them, I took notice of their subtle differences and similarities in writing and conducting interviews. Observing them allowed me to critique myself and strive to improve how I wrote based on their examples.

One of the many skills I did not expect to learn while interning was photography. I was taught how to utilize a professional camera and capture pictures that well represented the stories I covered. I had to use precision and timing to capture the perfect moment. Despite being tricky at first, I gradually developed and acquired a deeper interest in photography.

My experiences and bonds that I formed during the summer are something I will cherish as I continue my journey. It meant a lot to me when at the end of my internship, The Selma Times-Journal publisher Dennis Palmer said I had improved. I had achieved my goal and plan to take all I have learned to the University of Alabama, where I will be attending this fall. 

Derrick Thomas is the former intern of The Selma Times-Journal.