A post-graduate internship done: what comes next?

Working in the Capitol bureau of the Patriot-News in Harrisburg in August 2008.

My last day in Harrisburg for came at the end of last month, with the close of my lease with the International House Aug. 30 and the end of my post-graduate internship with the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents’ Association (PLCA).

I came home with lots of experience, dozens of great references, and a pile of clips. Browse my clips by publication here.

I pitched my own stories, was sent to dull and fascinating hearings, and got great clips, including front cover, A1 bylines for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Patriot-News and the Morning Call – not too bad. Below are my best six clips of the summer:

Gadflies wage guerrilla war in Harrisburg
Philadelphia Inquirer | July 29, 2008
I pitched this story and saw it land on the front cover of one of the 15 largest newspapers in the country.

Legislator beset by reform movement
Philadelphia Inquirer | July 22, 2008
I also pitched this story and was proud to see it run on the cover of the Local section. I got more than ten calls and a handful of e-mails from readers about this story.

No-fly list keeps pilot grounded, he claims
Harrisburg Patriot-News | Aug. 20, 2008
This was meant to be a brief, but the story was enticing, the news hole was slow and I felt I wrote it well. I was rewarded with a front page, above-the-fold story.

Dialogue on Drinking
Harrisburg Patriot-News | Aug. 22, 2008
This is a pitch I helped to craft after I felt initial reports on this intiaitve from college presidents were misrepresenting their mission – labeling their intentions as wanting to lower the drinking age though it was about fostering a dialogue. It was the featured art and likely my best looking clip of the summer.

State job scandal suspects released after posting bond
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | July 12, 2008
While a double-byline, I can’t neglect this story I did with Tracie Mauriello. I was in the middle of the biggest Pennsylvania state government story in decades, fighting for space in a small courtroom, seeking out details, whispering to court officials. I also got audio for the Post-Gazette, which they loved.

‘Essential’ state employees will be paid
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | June 10, 2008
My first good clip of the summer came my initial week with Brad Bumsted of the Tribune-Review. It came amid my trying to navigate the complex state budget negotiations and all the politics that surround them – like furlouging workers.

Also this summer I also got my first freelance check, starting a relationship with Philadelphia Weekly and some other smaller publications.

So what’s next?

I moved my things back to my folks home in beautiful Newton, metropolis of Northwest New Jersey last week and am spending this week in Philadelphia meeting friends and a few appointments. I have a few hiking trips planned but then on Oct. 1, a friend and I are planning a backpacking adventure through Europe, all of which will be blogged and feature video podcasting. Lots more on that to come.

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