Writing for a newspaper

By Julianne Cuba

This semester, I interned for Times Beacon Record Newspapers. I wrote stories about local government, including Steven Bellone’s fourth State of the County address, a local civic meeting, and state funding for road repairs, and I covered feature stories about people, local shops and events.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the paper. I became a much stronger writer and developed the ability to turn around stories within a few hours. I have more confidence when speaking with sources on the phone. Everyone at the paper was incredibly nice and welcoming, and they all seemed to appreciate my input and stories, which was a great feeling.

One of my favorite stories was about a Long Island native, Erin Henderson, who moved to Wyoming with her husband and three sons. Soon after moving, she and her husband adopted nine children. Three of the adoptions were “older-child adoptions” and five were “special-needs adoptions.” She now has 12 children.

Henderson, who is returning to Long Island in September for the inaugural Suffolk County Marathon, gets up at 4 a.m. every day to run. I spoke with her, her husband and her running coach, and I felt I really came to know this family.

I love journalism because it allows me to learn the stories of individuals I otherwise would never have known.

Another story I wrote was also about a marathon, this one planned for Memorial Day 2015. This event, which is in its eighth year, was started by the Scherer family of East Northport after Marine Cpl. Chris Scherer was killed in Iraq in 2007. He was 21. The run raises money for scholarships at Northport High School and for supplies for Marines stationed in war zones.

I spoke with Chris’ father, sister and childhood friend. They were all so grateful that someone was writing a story to honor Chris, and they were so forthcoming about incredibly difficult information, such as the father and son’s last phone conversation before the son’s death.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to be pursuing a career that at its very core not only encourages, but requires, conversation, understanding and continuous learning.