By Suzanne Weiss, Director of Public Relations
MANITOWOC, Wis. — Tucked away in the village of Valders, just 15 minutes west of Silver Lake College, is a bastion of local news.
The Valders Journal, a weekly paper founded in 1940, brings its readers stories and photos featuring their neighbors, friends and family.
Silver Lake College senior Miranda Chase, who is majoring in English and art, found her way to the paper’s offices via an internship through the college.
Miranda, of Kewaunee, remembers the thrill when she saw her first byline in print earlier in the semester.
“I’m still excited to see my stories in print, especially on the front page,” she said, holding up the latest issue featuring her Valentine’s Day story. Miranda realized she had a talent for words when her fellow high school students would frequently ask her to proof their papers.
“I was always interested in getting into editing and publishing, maybe working for a book publisher,” she said. “We’ll see where life takes me.”
Meanwhile, she’s discovered she likes the newspaper business more that she had anticipated.
“In the past, I’ve never wanted to work on weekends, but now I look forward to going over my notes and typing up my stories,” she said. “I would enjoy working for a newspaper.”
As she writes up everything from accident reports to feature stories, she’s been learning the finer points of transcribing recorded conversations, has found challenges as she tries to figure out how to start her stories, has slogged through both dry and interesting material, and has learned to prepare herself for interviewing subjects.
“I enjoy doing interviews and was surprised because I’m generally not a people person,” Miranda said.
“I think she’s learning a lot,” said the paper’s editor, Mary Thomsen. “It’s great for her to be able to acquire new skills and learn about the newspaper industry. It’s also helpful to us because we often need an extra pair of hands and she lightens our workload when she’s here.”
While the industry is ever-changing, thanks largely to electronic delivery and social media, the newspaper business offers solid training in the basics of writing and editing, must-needed skills that can be applied to a variety of careers, she said.
The internship “also plants the seed that community newspapers are still viable options for employment,” she said.
“Internships in this day and age are a must for students,” said Jan Algozine, director of career resources and experiential learning at Silver Lake College.
“Miranda is building up her journalistic portfolio, invaluable for someone in that field,” she said. “An internship gives students an opportunity to apply what they are learning in the classroom to hands-on experience. Internships also give students a chance to start networking, looking for jobs while they are interning.”
Any business or organization interested in hosting an intern can contact Jan Algozine at firstname.lastname@example.org or 920-686-6192.
PHOTOS: (TOP) Silver Lake College student Miranda Chase gets a thrill out of seeing her byline run on the front page of The Valders Journal, where she is interning this semester.
(CENTER) Mary Thomsen, editor of The Valders Journal, standing, poses with Silver Lake College student Miranda Chase, who is interning with the newspaper this semester.