Ball State’s Tori Smith wins HSPA Foundation’s Pulliam Scholarship

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The Hoosier State Press Association Foundation has awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Tori Smith, of Wheatfield, in recognition of her work while a Eugene S. Pulliam Intern in the summer of 2021 at an Indiana newspaper.

Smith served her 10-week internship at the Rensselaer Republican in Jasper County. She transferred from Ivy Tech Community College this fall and is a sophomore in Ball State University’s Department of Journalism. She is a journalism major, minoring in professional writing.

“One of the biggest things that stood out to me was that most, if not all interns, kept in touch with each other throughout the summer,” Smith said. “Some of us connected on LinkedIn and checked up with each other every two weeks. That was helpful. I knew there were eight other people going through the same things I was.”

Smith is a reporter for the Ball State Daily News and is an associate producer with the Cardinal Weather Show.

The HSPA Foundation selects nine journalism students to be interns every year. More than 100 university students have received the opportunity to experience how professional journalists work at Indiana newspapers.

In addition to the hands-on experience, Smith had the guidance of 2021 HSPA Intern Mentor Juli Metzger, an Associate Lecturer at Ball State University, and formerly top editor and publisher at three newspapers in Indiana. She also is former Executive Editor for Digital at the Indianapolis Star and a former Gannett Editor of the Year.

“Tori showed steady improvement and she actively sought feedback, not just on the mechanics, but on developing sourcing and managing up,” Metzger said. “She puts the work in, then wants to find out to make it better. You cannot ask for more than that.”

The Eugene S. Pulliam Internship Program is named in honor of the late publisher of The Indianapolis Star and The Indianapolis News. His family offered a challenge grant to support the creation of the HSPA Foundation and the internship program.

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