Two weeks completed. Two weeks to go. I am now half way through my one month internship at Pinellas News in St. Petersburg, Florida. It was another exciting week for me, and the weather is slowly improving (yay!). Here are some highlights:
- On Monday I had my first encounter with the cultural side of St.Petersburg. I met with Nan Colton, the resident performance artist at the Museum of Fine Arts and interviewed her for a story about the Coffee Talks presentations she puts on for seniors at the museum every month. She gave me a personal tour of the newest exhibit at the museum, the work of artist Fernando Botero, and told me all about her 40 year career as a performance artist and how she teaches her audience art education through her portrayals of famous female historical figures like Georgia O’Keefe and Frida Kahlo.
- Starting next week I am also taking on a large portion of the design and layout of the newspaper. This means I spent many hours of the week learning how to use Quark design software as well a Photoshop to edit all the photos we will publish. Boy do I wish I paid more attention to those layout lessons we got back at school in the Fall. It’s a long and painstaking process to set up each page of the paper and play around with it until it looks visually appealing and logically correct (and this is a relatively small newspaper, only 6 pages!). Hopefully I can get the next issue done before we go to print next week. I better start Sunday night.
- This week I had my first experience as a photojournalist. The Tampa Job Fair took place Thursday, and I was sent on location to capture some pictures of the event to put on the front page. After a quick lesson on how to use the digital SLR I was on my way. It’s surprising how much power you have walking into a room with a camera in your hand and a press pass around your neck. People move out of the way for you, they smile and say “Hi”. Talk about an ego booster. The pictures turned out pretty good if I might say so myself and two of them are on the cover this week.
- And last but not least, I ended the week with a visit to the Southeastern Guide Dog School in Palmetto, Florida. It’s one of only 10 guide dog schools in the country. I got a tour of the campus and the training facilities and got to see some cute little 2 week old puppies as well a some older puppies who were being trained as guide dogs. I also got to speak with Helen,65, one of the administrators at the school who has also been using guide dogs for 40 years. The article will be in next weeks paper.