My first day at the North Kitsap Herald as an intern was one that I will probably never forget. I walked through the door and immediately received a curious look from the secretary behind the counter. I smiled and said that I was the new intern and that I was here to work. She nodded and sent me back to Joe Irwin, editor in chief.
Whether Joe remembers it or not, we had met before. In my 10th grade year, I took the journalism class offered through the high school, and for the first paper we put out, our teacher took us to the Herald to do the layout.
Joe and I met then. I doubted he remembered me from way back then, but it was helpful to see a familiar face on my first day.
I walked into the joint office shared between all of the reporters. Joe wasn’t in the office at the moment, so instead Tiffany Royal showed me around a little. Being new to the paper as well, she seemed to understand my nervousness.
She showed me the computer I would be using for the duration of my stay. It was an old Mac that looked like it had been the first computer the Herald had used. I groaned to myself, because I had never really used a Mac before. I had a little in school, but I hadn’t really used one in two or three years.
I sat at my computer feeling completely out of place, waiting for Joe to get back from the assignment he was on. As soon as he got back, he booted me out of the office with a news pad, a pen, a camera and instructions to do Street Talk, the weekly question. Before I could think clearly, I found myself wandering the streets of Poulsbo, asking random people if they wanted to be in the paper.
In the weeks to come, every Monday afternoon, I would show up, and go right back out the door to ask the general public their opinion of everything from strange hobbies to favorite comic strips. I soon found that I became almost comfortable going up to people I had never seen before to ask them crazy questions. The questions and answers, while sometimes generic, and sometimes off the wall, showed me how the community viewed today’s world.
Street Talk wasn’t the only learning experience I had.
Working with full-blown reporters, some who had been in the field for a while, some that were fresh from school was fun too. I got to witness the newspaper world from the inside for the first time in a professional environment.
For instance, watching Trevor, Dan and Joe throw a fit in the middle of the office when they heard that the 49ers’ tickets were completely sold out, except for the $300 tickets, was quite… interesting. The calls to the stadium to make sure that the tickets really were sold out, the disbelief, the tears was enough to break my heart. I had no idea football was such an emotional sport until now.
All that aside, I was working with a professional group of people who knew exactly what they were doing. And if they didn’t, they improvised, which is a huge part of the newspaper business. If something doesn’t work, Joe, Dan, Trevor, Carrina and Tiffany fit something else in instead — at the drop of a hat.
During my time at the Herald newspaper, I witnessed everything from forgotten birthdays, to marriages, to deaths, to giant squid being found in someone’s backyard. I learned more about what was going on in the community than I had before and that completely reinforced my wish to go into journalism as a career.
Annie Tietje served as one of the North Kitsap Herald’s summer interns and, aside from taking tons of busy work off our hands, was a lot of fun to have around. We wish her the best in the future. A future we hope includes another summer internship here.