SUMMER INTERNS: The News Tribune has a decades-long tradition of hosting summer college interns. Several current staff members served here as interns – cops reporter Stacey Mulick, features editor Dusti Demarest and local news editor Matt Misterek among them.
When the recession hit in 2008, we dropped our paid intern program as part of a larger belt-tightening, as did most other newspapers. The next summer, 2009, we had no interns.
That felt lousy.
Guiding interns is a way for our staffers to give back to the craft they love and to encourage the next generation. Budding journalists depend on a portfolio of published work to show a prospective employer.
We missed having interns around, and students kept asking us for an opportunity.
Last spring a group of newsroom staffers devised a new program that allows interns to get class credit for their time with us. While we’d rather pay them, we knew the experience itself was valuable.
We treat for-credit internships a bit differently. Rather than schedule interns for a set number of hours, we vary the time to meet the requirements of their college program.
We also stopped advertising our internships nationally. Because we aren’t paying students to move cross-country, we focus on students who go to school near us or who come home to this area on summer break.
A nice consequence has been that interns start with a closer connection to our community. We also have improved our chances of home-growing a journalist who might want to stay here after college.
Last year, we had for-credit interns in photography, copy editing and reporting. This year, our interns are:
• Sy Bean, a Seattle University student from Vashon Island. Bean’s favorite assignments have been covering the Seattle Sounders and riding along in a World War II bomber.
• Stephanie Kim, a University of Washington student who also attended Highline Community College. Kim is from Kent. We published two of her many stories Tuesday, one about a woman whose mailbox was blown up and another about an unfunded state scholarship program.
• Chris Wells, who attends the University of Montana and also lives in Kent. Wells is writing for our Sports section and has covered the Sounders, Rainiers and Seattle Storm. Next he’ll cover the annual Pacific Northwest Open tennis tournament in Tacoma.
PROMOTIONS: We recently named John Henrikson our new assistant managing editor for digital operations. He will run thenewstribune.com and lead our efforts to publish news on cellphones, mobile tablets, Facebook and Twitter.
Henrikson has been a local news editor here since 2003, most recently leading our Public Life team, which covers local, state and federal government.
He created the SoundInfo page on our website, where we post public employee salaries and other databases. He recently earned a web technology certificate from the University of Washington.
Next month, Kim Bradford will replace Henrikson as Public Life team leader. She has been an editorial writer here for six years. She came to us from The Tri-City Herald, where she was editorial page editor. Before that, she was The Herald’s Olympia bureau reporter and also covered city hall.
YOU'RE WELCOME: Who says people only pick up the phone when they want to complain? Not our readers.
We received several calls and emails last week from readers thrilled that we restored the national map on our daily weather page. We had eliminated it and other features to make room for more stories and advertisements, but we irritated some folks along the way.
We also put back weather information for 10 mountain passes and restored temperatures for Albany, N.Y., which has an oddly popular following in these parts.
As always, your feedback helps us to figure out what readers are looking for. Thank you.
Karen Peterson: 253-597-8434