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Semester in Washington: A testimonial, plus a visit from the director

As part of Scripps Day this year we’ve had the good fortune to host Jody Beck, director of the Scripps Foundation Wire’s Semester in Washington. program.

JSchool students have been participating in Beck’s program since its inception in 1998. Our current “representative” on Beck’s staff is Adam Liebendorfer, who sent me this update just today.

The first week was largely an orientation week. We sat and spoke about the internship and toured the office the first day. Two Tuesdays ago we went to the Knight-Batten Awards for Online Journalism, which was very reminiscent of the Schuneman Symposium…

I had a wedding to go to in Florida, so I missed my first Friday, but I did get a story about a coal workers rally out before the end of the week. It’s funny how, being from a school in Appalachia, I’m the expert on coal power and mountaintop removal.

Leonard Pitts and I have spoken on the phone about meeting up, and it’s simply a matter of calling him back and figuring out a day to meet for lunch. Also, I was surprised to learn that Scripps Howard shares a floor of the office building with the Tribune Company, and that Clarence Page* works a few door down. Haven’t talked to Clarence yet, but in a random turn of events, I did go to the bars with his son, who’s a good friend of one of the other interns.

That’s been my experiences in a nutshell. I’m continually amazed on how much I’m putting all of my J-school knowledge to good use. Time and again when I’m researching my next tech story or talk to a parent of murdered child or go to an economics committee hearing, I feel transported back to Prof. Tatge’s economics reporting class, even when the things have little to do with the economy.

*Editor’s note: See my video interview with Page, recorded back in August.

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