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Reflecting on a summer at The Drag

My name is Sarah, and I just finished my summer internship at The Drag. As I’m getting ready to start my sophomore year in the School of Journalism and Media, I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to work alongside such an amazing team of students and faculty and dip my toe in longform reporting so early in my college career. I’d like to share a bit about my experience as an intern at the Drag, including some things I learned about myself.

Ever since I decided I was going to be a journalist — this dates back to middle school — I thought a career in print was endgame for me. Sitting in front of a camera was an instant “no,” and I had a passion for writing, so pursuing print journalism felt like the most natural, obvious choice. I listened to podcasts, but for some reason I never really considered a career as an audio journalist.

Working for The Drag has completely changed my perspective on audio journalism and, in turn, sparked more interest in an audio career. Don’t get me wrong, I still adore print. In addition to reporting for The Drag, I’m also a reporter for The Daily Texan and plan on spending many more semesters on staff. Print reporting has taught me the structure of good news and how to approach the facts of a story. Sometimes, though, I want to deep dive into a story and find new, compelling ways to share it with an audience — audio storytelling does just that.

I helped with research and reporting for a few different podcasts during my summer at The Drag. With help from different project leaders, I became more familiar with the podcast outlining process, conducting interviews for audio and, my personal favorite, writing and editing scripts. Part of reporting these stories meant exposure to heavy subject matter, but with each step in the reporting process we had conversations about maintaining sensitivity and avoiding glorification of these stories. This dedication to empathy was something I really admired while reporting for The Drag.

I started my internship with an extremely simple background in audio, and now I’m finishing with a much greater confidence in my reporting abilities. Additionally, audio journalism now feels like something I can see myself pursuing, which is why I plan on continuing my learning experience with The Drag.

I’m so excited to continue helping with these projects, and likely some new ones, this fall on a freelance basis. I also can’t wait to meet more Drag staffers and learn about their insanely cool projects. The Drag has been such a great learning opportunity for me so far, and I look forward to exploring audio journalism further throughout the next semester.

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