Pulliam interns recall favorite stories from 2019


Each year HSPA offers nine paid college journalists to newspapers across Indiana through the Eugene S. Pulliam Internship program.

The interns come to their papers with a variety of storytelling skills and leave with valuable hands-on experience.

With the deadline approaching for newspapers to apply for summer 2020 interns, students who participated in the program this year shared thoughts on the favorite stories they contributed to their papers.

Apply for a 2020 Pulliam Internship by Friday, Jan. 17. Info & application here.

Indiana University’s Christine Stephenson interned with The Times-Mail (Bedford).  Her favorite story was, “ ‘A total, total miracle’: Couple recoups after vehicle-house crash.”

“It reinforced the idea that sometimes the best way to get someone to talk to you is just be brave, go to their house and let them know that you’re a real person,” Stephenson  said.

“And it was just special to me because those guys obviously went through a lot in recent days but were still willing to let me into their home, and their lives, and make me feel like I’m doing something important,” she said.

Jayden Kennett, a University of Indianapolis student spent her summer at The Daily Journal (Franklin).

For her, a story she worked on that  stands out is, “Program helps Greenwood residents reclaim lives from addiction.” 

“I think this was my favorite story because I met so many amazing people while writing this and it opened my eyes to a side of addiction that I had never seen before,” Kennett said.

“ I sat down with these people and they shared some of the most vulnerable parts of their lives with me and although we were merely strangers, I felt myself personally rooting for them as I watched them graduate or move up in the program. The people I talked to is what made this my favorite story,” Kennett said.

Deadline is Dec. 20 to request a 2020 intern, visit https://www.hspa.com/2020-newspaper-pulliam-intern-request/.

For the Kokomo Tribune, IU reporter Lilly St. Angelo recalled a profile she did last summer about Tecky Short — a 97-year-old dancer who’s still going strong clad in gold shoes and suede bell bottoms.

Purdue University Student Alexandra Weliever, focused her attention on the weather’s impact on the farming community for The Herald Journal (Monticello).

“My favorite story is probably one of the pieces I did on the effects of the wet spring on Hoosier cornfields, and how farmers reacted to the constant rain,” Weliever said.

Brooke Kemp, editor-in-chief of the Ball State Daily News, spent her summer at the Herald Bulletin (Anderson). She contributed a prolific range of stories including, “Programs help inmates prepare for life outside prison.” 

Riley Guerzini, EIC of The Shield at the University of Southern Indiana, picked a story about Dinky’s Auction Center that he did for The Herald (Jasper) — where, “The auctioneers ramble so fast it’s hard to understand what they’re saying.”

Gracie Phillips’ story “Reviving history: Downtown Martinsville takes shape” — and her experience at The Reporter-Times (Martinsville) — taught her lessons she could apply to her newsroom at Hanover College.

“Through my experience at the Reporter-Times, I learned so many valuable lessons on how to better manage my college newspaper,” Phillips said.

Ball State’s Hannah Gunnell recalled a story for The Shelbyville News, “True Community Service” about a local volunteer, Kyle Henderson who spontaneously helps those in need.

IU junior Ty Vinson is both a writer and a photographer. A favorite story he did for The Times of Northwest Indiana chronicled a haunted house that’s open all year.

“I loved working on my haunted house story because I was basically given full creative freedom with it,” Vinson said.

“I was able to write the story and take my own photos. And the newsroom trusted I’d come back with a good story,” he said.