The Berkshire Eagle, Pittsfield, MA
This summer, I was a features intern at The Berkshire Eagle, a local daily newspaper based in Pittsfield, for eight weeks. The Eagle is one of four papers in the New England Newspapers group and it covers news, sports, business, and arts and culture. Many members of the Berkshire community look to the Eagle for news about Covid, local events, local government, and more.
As a features intern, I had the opportunity to write many articles for the arts and culture section, as well as for the “Berkshire Landscapes” column in the Saturday paper. I interviewed a few different artists and community organizers for “Take 5” articles, in which I asked each source five questions about their specific work. One interview was with a woman who organized a five-day festival with the goal of spotlighting stories from Black members of the community, so I got the chance to ask her what inspired her to organize this festival and how she hopes it will make a change in the Berkshire community. I also interviewed the writer and star of a new solo show, for which I wrote a preview. I then was able to see the show and review it. When I got to the theater, I received my press kit and my Eagle preview was inside, which was very exciting.
I even got to pitch my own article ideas. One topic that is important to me is Berkshire summer camps, since I attended one for 10 summers. I ended up writing an article about how Berkshire overnight camps are operating under Covid.
From this internship, I learned that I really enjoy local journalism and prefer it to national/international news reporting. Having the opportunity to dig deep into a community, I realized that a lot of people in the Berkshires were actually reading my articles and connecting to them. I received a few emails from people who had read my articles in the paper, which was very touching. It showed me that my words were truly reaching people in the community.
I declared as an English major last spring, and I feel confident that this major will help me develop the skills to be the best writer I can be. I am also the Executive Editor for Features at the Williams Record and I am excited to continue that work because it is something I am passionate about, and I think it will help me gain journalism experience throughout the rest of my time at Williams.
Finally, I would like to thank the ’68 Center for Career Exploration as well as Martin Collins ’86, for making this internship possible. I am very happy with how I spent my summer, and I feel that I gained a lot from it. I now have multiple clips from a professional newspaper that I can show potential employers in the future, and more importantly, I feel like a better journalist than I was before.