The Journey Begins

This Blog was created to document my journey as an intern at Delaware Today during the Fall 2019 Academic Semester. Stay along for the ride!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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First Week 9/16-22

The first day of my internship started off on Monday, September 16th. If I’m being completely honest I was nervous to begin interning at Delaware Today. It wasn’t due to lacking journalistic abilities but mostly due to nerves and realizing that I was living a dream. Walking though the doors and instantly being welcomed was so assuring. What a great team Scott, Meg, Kaydee, and Ashley make. They made all my nerves dissipate. I was given a tour of the office and introduced to all the staff before being led back into the editorial department where I was given a desk, computer and phone. I was located with the rest of the team and felt like I “had arrived”. Scott helped me get situated at my desk and I was given my own email address to facilitate future communication. Halfway through my shift Scott brought me into his office and explained how the magazine was run and that it was in the process of being revamped. I was given the opportunity to pitch two stories, one of which Scott picked up and will be writing later on in the future and the other that I am current working slated to be published in November 2019. I would say that the first day was pretty successful and I could tell that I’m going to be enjoying my time at Delaware Today.

On Wednesday I felt more at ease in the office and started to get into the swing of things. I was assigned two stories that will be published later on next week. My first story deals with Breweries that feature Pumpkin spice ale and the second entails Fall festivities that are happening around Delaware. To be completely honest being assigned two stories was a little daunting but I realize that this is the nature of journalism. Given the amount of time I had I was able to complete my first story about the ale in a couple of hours and contacted the breweries for images for each of the products. I was also able to start my research for the fall activities. I would say that Wednesday was a pretty laid back day and I accomplished a lot at the office.

On Friday, I continued the work I started on Wednesday. I was able to finish up both of my articles before the deadline which felt like a great accomplishment. I feel like my first week went insanely fast and I am excited for what the future has in store for me. I feel comfortable at Delaware Today and appreciate the trust placed in me by Scott and the rest of the team.

Second Week 9/23-27

My second week at Delaware Today started off fantastic and I am so grateful for this opportunity. I feel more comfortable in the office and when I arrived on Monday I got right to work. I submitted both of my articles early and was eager to hear the feedback from Meg. My first assignment of this week consisted of me fact checking a 14 page list of Top Lawyers in Delaware. I finally got the experience of a copy editor and I enjoyed the work and also developed a deeper appreciation for what their job entails. This assignment took a majority of my time in the office. I also was assigned another story from Meg about Margherita Pizza. I am doing a profile on them concerning their location change and the reason for their updated menu. I’m excited about this assignment and I’m looking forward to interviewing the owners and visiting their new restaurant. Monday flew by and I feel like a valued team member.

Wednesday was a pretty successful day! As soon as I arrived in the office I started researching for my upcoming article. I was also assigned a Halloween story from Kaydee and started working on it right away. I researched the Haunted places in Delaware, Haunted Houses, and other scary attractions. I must admit it was great to research scary things during my internship. I was able to combine both of my loves journalism and horror. Also, I am enjoying being able to research independently and immediately send any emails that may be necessary to verify my story. I completed my research and was able to finish approximately half of my Halloween article. Towards the end of my shift Kaydee forwarded a couple of additional breweries she found that serve pumpkin infused ale and I was able to complete the descriptions for them in about 20 minutes; well ahead of my deadline. I have never felt more accomplished and prepared for my career in my life! I will admit I was nervous while writing them but hearing the words “Cam these are great you rock” made my day. The icing on the cake was after my shift seeing that my first article was published: http://www.delawaretoday.com/pumpkin-beers-delaware-breweries/ It truly was a great day!

Friday was pretty much the same as Wednesday minus the publishing. I entered the office and went right to work on finishing my Halloween story. I also found additional sources for my article and was able to find more haunted places in Delaware. I was surprised at the additional haunted locations due to Delaware being so small but apparently we are rich with spirits. I completed my article by the end of my shift. As I finished my second week I came to the realization that this internship is the opportunity of a lifetime and I am extremely happy and grateful that Scott and his team chose me.

Third Week 9/30-10/4

My third week of my internship started off great. I began working on my profile piece on Margherita Pizza and researched it’s history and why the restaurant decided to close its business last winter and move locations. While working on this assignment I began preparing interview questions for my scheduled interview at Margherita Pizza shop on Tuesday. However, midway through my research Ashley pulled me aside and asked if I could do a quick fact checking and proofreading assignment for the upcoming Health issue. I started working right away and began proofreading for any errors. I located a few errors, made corrections and alerted Ashley. She was pleased with my work and complimented me, saying that I have a “good eye”. Afterwards she alerted me that she added my name to the list of contributors which was really thoughtful of her and I appreciated that she gave me editing credit. Towards the end of the day I continued work on my upcoming Halloween article insuring that all my information was accurate and that no additional haunted attractions in Delaware were recently added. Monday was a very productive day.

Wednesday started off pretty much the same as Monday. I began working on an article that Meg assigned me related to Halloween Dinners/Food Events happening in Delaware. I was able to complete a good deal of initial research done and began working on the article structure right away. I also reached out to all of the events contacts for images in order to credit and highlight their particular event. I received images rather quickly from the organizations that I reached out to and I felt a real sense of accomplishment. Additionally, after departing my internship I noticed that my second article (a collaboration with Kaydee was published online. I was surprised and overjoyed. (http://www.delawaretoday.com/delaware-family-friendly-fall-farms-and-events/). I have to admit that having two articles published within 3 short weeks of my internship is giving me real hope for my future journalism career.

Friday was a great day at the office starting with a quick check in with Meg to review the edits she made on my Margherita Pizza article. It was great to hear feedback and see what changes I can implement for my future articles. I was also able to finish my Halloween Dinner article. All of my research for my article went well and I was also able to find more scary events for a future article that Kaydee will be editing. I will continue to review and update the article before the publishing deadline. Towards the end of my shift I noticed that my Margherita Pizza article was published! I am once again, thrilled and excited. (http://www.delawaretoday.com/margherita-pizza-main-street-newark-relocates/) It felt great to see my third article being published and also to have an interview under my belt after just beginning my internship three weeks ago. I have really enjoyed my time at Delaware Today and I can’t believe it is going by so quickly.

Fourth Week Oct 7-11

Monday started off exceptionally. First, I quickly finalized my Halloween Dinner Article and contacted more companies for images. Secondly, I received my first inquiry phone call which was exciting but also nerve wracking. I was surprised when my phone rang and realized it was one of the theatre companies representatives calling me to discuss my article and to find out more information about Delaware Today. It was great to talk to her and explain why I was writing my article and how the magazine is ran. Additionally, I was given the opportunity to pitch a couple of stories for the Dining Insider and the beach issues. It was a great experience to be able to pitch additional stories to Kaydee and Meg and to start researching possible ideas that readers may enjoy.

Sadly on Wednesday I woke up extremely ill with the stomach flu and was unable to make it into the office. However, my fourth article was published: http://www.delawaretoday.com/blogs/dining-insider/halloween-food-events-delaware/

On Friday due to UD having a Blue Hen Re-Coop Day, Scott allowed me to stay home and further recuperate.

Fifth Week Oct 14-19

Monday started off great and I began working on a new story shortly after my arrival. I met with Kaydee and she assigned me two new stories, one dealing with off-season beach attractions and the other involving Dogfish Head’s A Go-Go Weekend. I started researching all of the material for the stories and actually got a great head start and was able to finish half of my beach attractions article. Later on during my shift I met with Scott to discuss the public and private schools research needed for completion of the Delaware Schools issue. He explained to me that he needed my help fact checking all of the private and public school information and cautioned that it could take a majority of my time at the office for the next couple of weeks. I was also given the opportunity to look at the previous issues to see how the spreadsheet was organized. Also, my fifth article was published (http://www.delawaretoday.com/haunted-houses-ghost-tours-halloween-events-delaware/) I would say that Monday was a pretty successful day!

Walking in the doors on Wednesday I had a pretty good idea of the type of work I would be doing that day. As soon as I sat at my station Scott sent me the spreadsheets for the private and public schools and I began working on the fact checking right away. This assignment took a majority of my time on Wednesday due to the scarcity of information about the numerous schools being examined for the article. I am searching various sources to collect and document all of the correct information concerning each schools’ tuition, class size, racial demographics, etc. I only took a short break to send emails requesting images for my Halloween recipe article. Wednesday was a fact finding day at the office but it was interesting and I enjoyed my time there.

Friday was an almost replica of Wednesday and I spent all my time working on the private and public schools spreadsheet. I was able to finish almost all of the private school spreadsheet and began working on the public school one. I will have to coordinate with Scott for clarification on some of the school source information when I return next Monday.

Sixth Week 10/21-25

Monday started off great and as soon as I entered the office I started working on the articles that Kaydee assigned to me. I had the task of working on Dogfish’s Analog-A-Go-Go event and an off-season beach attraction article. I began researching all of the necessary information in order to begin my story in time for the deadline. Also, after completing most of my research I decided to take a break and work on my private school and public school fact checking. Due to me not being able to find all of the necessary resources I decided to email the media and communications director for each schools in order to try and find the necessary contacts to fact check all of the information. I received a couple of responses at the end of my shift. Also, my halloween recipe article was published (pitched) :http://www.delawaretoday.com/blogs/dining-insider/october-2019/easy-halloween-recipes/

Wednesday I entered the office and jumped right on my computer to finish up the articles for Kaydee. This took a majority of my time at the office due to me having two stories to complete for that day and I was able to finish both an hour before the end of my workday. I sent the rest of the emails out to all of the private schools and started sending emails to the public schools media and communications directors or principals hoping that I would receive a response. Wednesday was a great and successful day. Also, my beach attraction and Dogfish Analog A-Go-Go articles were published on Thursday while I was out of the office. http://www.delawaretoday.com/off-season-attractions-delaware-beaches/ (pitched) http://www.delawaretoday.com/dogfish-head-analog-a-go-go-weekend-2019-milton-rehoboth-lewes/

Friday was a very relaxed day at the office. I worked on my fact checking assignment the entire day and finished sending out all the emails to the remaining private schools. While I received additional responses from their representatives I realized the need for alternative methods of securing this valuable information. I was able to use the state of Delaware website to find more education statistics. My time at the office on Friday went by really fast and as my weeks are starting to dwindle down I am realizing that I love magazine writing and I enjoy researching the story to get to the “nuts and bolts” of an issue. My Halloween article was also published when I was leaving for the day. http://www.delawaretoday.com/blogs/dining-insider/october-2019/wilmington-halloween-events/

Seventh Week 10/ 28-11/1

Monday started off great in the office and as soon as I entered I started working on a fact checking assignment that Scott sent to me. I was required to check both the dining list guides and shopping list guides that ranges from Delaware to Maryland. This assignment took a majority of my time at the office due to the first article being 20 pages and the second one being 14. I was able to finish the dining list guide on Monday and I was also assigned a Thanksgiving story from Kaydee. This story required me to also fact check and update the Thanksgiving dinner guide for the 2019 year.

On Wednesday as soon as I entered the office I got right to work due to the amount of work I had for the fact checking assignment. I was able to finish half of the Shopping list guide before I started working on the private and public school excel spreadsheets. I have been having a difficult time with getting responses from each schools’ representatives and I have increased the number of inquiry emails. This experience has taught me that can be difficult to conduct research into specific topic areas due to lack of response from PR representatives.

On Friday I jumped right to work once entering the office and I finished the shopping list guide and sent over both guides to Scott. Once finishing these guides I was able to start researching all of the restaurants Thanksgiving menus for the upcoming holiday. After finishing up my research I started sending out more emails to PR reps hoping to receive a response. As the weeks start to wind down I am realizing that my experience at Delaware Today is almost over and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that I have at this publication and I am happy that I have learned so much about magazine and feature writing.

Eighth Week 11/4-8

Once entering the office on Monday I began responding to emails from the private school representatives that replied to my previous requests over the past weekend. I sent the schools a word document that I created listing the required questions that are needed for the upcoming issue. I then started trying to find alternative ways to receive statistics from the schools and I was able to find more information online in order to update my excel spreadsheet. After I responded to everyone I started working on the article that Kaydee had assigned me the previous week and I made sure that each restaurant was still serving dinner for the 2019 holiday season.

On Wednesday I jumped right to work once I sat down in my area and starting finishing up my Thanksgiving article since my deadline was at 3:00 p.m. that day. Due to my deadline being that day I spend all of my time in the office on my Thanksgiving article.

On Friday I worked on my private and public school fact checking assignment and I decided to send my second batch of emails to all of the private schools and all of the public schools. I was only able to get to about 50 of the Delaware public schools and will have to send the rest of the emails on Monday when I enter the office. With another week down and my time at the office winding down I am happy that I have had this opportunity to grow as a writer and an aspiring journalist. Also, on my way out the door the article where I gathered the information on the restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner was published. http://www.delawaretoday.com/delaware-thanksgiving-dining-guide/

Ninth Week 11/11-15

On Monday, I entered the office and began working on updating the private and public school list. A majority of the schools have failed to respond to all communication so I sent out another set of emails to their principals, PR, or communication representatives. After sending these emails I rechecked my inbox and noticed that I had received a couple of emails from some of the public schools which allowed me to update my public school excel spreadsheet. The majority of my shift on Monday was spent exploring alternative methods of gleaming the required information needed for the Public and Private school issues for Delaware Today.

Wednesday afternoon started off very productively due to receiving a few emails from several responding schools while I was out of the office. I updated my excel spreadsheet and then had the opportunity to begin working on a Thanksgiving story that would be published the following week. This story was originally supposed to be a Vegetarian Restaurants that were open during Thanksgiving Day. However, I expressed to Megan that due to the story I previously worked on dealing with all Delaware restaurants that were open during the holiday it could possibly feel redundant to the viewers. She agreed with me and liked my pitch about, “10 Vegetarian Recipes to enjoy this Thanksgiving” and gave me the go ahead on writing this story instead. I was grateful for the opportunity to pitch this story and for her to value my opinion. It was a great way to end my Wednesday shift.

On Friday as soon as I entered the office I got started on updating my excel spread sheets for the public and private school issue and began researching my Vegetarian recipe article. Also, I was assigned two more stories from Megan that will be due on December 2nd. The majority of my time in the office was spent working on research and emails. As this week winds down I am realizing that my time at Delaware Today is slowing coming to an end and I will miss this place when my internship concludes.

Tenth Week 11/ 18 -22

On Monday I was out of the office due to an illness. I was diagnosed with food poisoning at Student Health and I sent the proper medical documentation to Scott.

Wednesday, I submitted my Vegetarian recipes article to Megan due to My illness on Monday. After entering the office I began working on my other two stories (Christmas Dinners/ New Year’s Eve Parties/Dinners) and was able to finish up all the research for my New Year’s Eve Party article. Also, I met with Scott briefly to discuss the progress of the public and private schools and was advised to check again on Friday for additional emails and to follow up with mass email if contacts failed to reply to the inquiries.

On Friday, I began working on my upcoming articles. I met with Scott to discuss any additional information concerning my private and public school issue. I told him that I had yet to receive any responses to my previous inquiries and we decided that sending a mass email would be our best course of action. This actually was a great learning moment and he showed me how to send a mass email that would allow each school to send me the information in the same chain. I was grateful to learn this information and realized it would be helpful in my future profession. My (pitched) Vegetarian recipe article was also published on this day. http://www.delawaretoday.com/blogs/dining-insider/november-2019/vegetarian-thanksgiving-dishes-recipes/

Eleventh Week 11/25-28

This was UD’s Spring Break so I was out of the office for a week and will return on December 2nd. I received an email from Scott who requested information regarding an email I sent to Delaware Today contacts regarding the Public and Private School research. He wished me a Happy Thanksgiving 🦃. Although the semester is coming to a close I have learned a great deal about magazine writing and what it takes to take a magazine to print. I am thankful for this great opportunity afforded me by Professor Fallik and Scott.

Twelfth Week 12/2-12/6

Monday was my first day back in the office after Thanksgiving break and I started back enthusiastic and ready to work. I am working on two articles that Meg assigned to me but was later informed that I needed to complete the Private and Public School spreadsheets due to the organizer wanting the information that day. All of my time on Monday was dedicated to completing the Public and Private School spreadsheets and I was able to finish everything up at around 5:10 p.m. I wasn’t asked to remain late but I wanted to ensure the project was complete.

On Wednesday, December 4, 2019 upon arrival I realized that no one from the Editorial Dept was in for the day. I was in the office unaware of the reason for anyone’s absence but I spent the 3.5 hours answering emails and researching material for future pitch stories until my shift ended at 3 p.m. My Dining on Christmas Eve or Day article was published after my departure. http://www.delawaretoday.com/delaware-restaurants-open-on-christmas/

Once I arrived on Friday I got right to work and had the opportunity to talk to Meg briefly. We discussed when my final day in the office was and I explained to her that next Wednesday would be the end of my internship. She asked me if I would be willing to write two more stories and if I had any ideas for a dining insider story. I pitched her the idea of doing a local coffee shop article and she end up really liking the idea and gave me tips on how I should set up the story. I was given the deadline of December 11th.

Final Week (13) 12/9-11

I was out of the office on 12/9 due to a final exam which I previously informed Scott about via email.

12/11 was my final day in the office and I spent my time finishing up my Coffee Shop Article and Ugly Sweater Crawl Article. Towards the end of my shift I met with Scott for the final evaluation and I was indeed surprised by the outcome. Regardless of the feedback that I received I am grateful for the experience I had at Delaware Today. I believe that I have learned a lot about the world of journalism and truly do feel like I am prepared for whatever future endeavors the future has in store. I appreciate Professor Fallik for her unclenching support of me throughout the semester.

(12/13)- My Ugly Sweater Crawl article was published: http://www.delawaretoday.com/blogs/dining-insider/december-2019/wilmington-ugly-sweater-bar-crawl/

As of 12/13 my pitched Coffee Shop article has yet to be published but has been completed and sent to editor.