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Robert Vega, Director FAC 18 / 2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200 78712-1508 • 512-471-7900

The Austin American-Statesman

Fall 2011

Student: Plan II Honors & Religious Studies Junior
Position: Metro Reporting

The Austin American-Statesman provides the best venue for professional newspaper experience in the Austin area. It is the largest paper in Central Texas, with a robust print and online readership and a strong commitment to journalistic excellence. That excellence includes high ethical standards, informative daily news and the type of investigative reporting that no other organization in the area is doing.

I worked three days a week for a total of 20 hours, reporting and writing one or two stories per week. My work included simple daily stories, like covering the school board, and involved features, like a front-page piece about homeless veterans in Austin. I worked closely with one of the metro editors on my work. She assigned me stories, fielded my pitches and edited my writing. I made clear improvements in reporting and writing throughout the semester. Approaches to reporting that used to confuse or stress me now come naturally – for example, I now never report a story without asking somebody how much something costs.

Most days, I knew what I would be working on before I came into the office, either because I had been working on it for a few days or because my editor emailed me the assignment the night before. But there were surprises here and there, like the day my editor asked me to call and find out about a possible drowning at Barton Springs. The diverse topics I covered during my internship kept me interested and busy as I worked to learn as much as I could about each one during my reporting. I recommend this internship for any student interested in pursuing a journalism career.

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