Five in a row

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More stories from Casi Thedford, adviser

Shining the way:
January 24, 2019

East journalism students land last five internships at Wylie News

Triple+threat+%5C%5C+Senior+Maddie+Smith+takes+photos+of+a+varsity+volleyball+game.+She+shares+her+work+with+The+Wylie+News%2C+the+school+newspaper+and+yearbook+because+she+is+on+all+three+staffs.+
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Five in a row

Triple threat \\ Senior Maddie Smith takes photos of a varsity volleyball game. She shares her work with The Wylie News, the school newspaper and yearbook because she is on all three staffs.

Triple threat \\ Senior Maddie Smith takes photos of a varsity volleyball game. She shares her work with The Wylie News, the school newspaper and yearbook because she is on all three staffs.

photo credit: Rylea Thedford

Triple threat \\ Senior Maddie Smith takes photos of a varsity volleyball game. She shares her work with The Wylie News, the school newspaper and yearbook because she is on all three staffs.

photo credit: Rylea Thedford

photo credit: Rylea Thedford

Triple threat \\ Senior Maddie Smith takes photos of a varsity volleyball game. She shares her work with The Wylie News, the school newspaper and yearbook because she is on all three staffs.

The editor in chiefs of the campus print media have unintentionally started a tradition. Besides earning grades by reporting for the school newspaper and yearbook, they also earn a paycheck by reporting on local happenings for The Wylie News.

The last five interns at The Wylie News have come from East’s journalism program.

Senior Maddie Smith is the current intern at the local newspaper. She is also the editor in chief of the yearbook and sports editor and webmaster for the school newspaper.

“The internship has been an open door for me this year,” Smith said. ‘It’s given me multiple opportunities to expand my knowledge of journalism.”

Pullquote Photo

I felt so much more prepared, because even if my writing wasn’t great, I was able to improve and build off of my experience on a student paper.”

— Brooke Vincent, Class of 2015

Having been on The Wylie News staff for a mere three months, Smith has already had multiple stories and photos published in the newspaper. Most recently, a photo from the homecoming parade was the lede photo on the front page.

Mrs. Casi Thedford started the journalism program at East when the school opened in 2006.

“We began with a print newspaper, The Raider Reader, that we printed six times a year, one each six-weeks grading period,” Thedford said.

The advanced journalism-newspaper class has since grown to include a full color news magazine, The Raid, printed once a school year and an online news site, Blue Print, which is updated daily.

“Though there are a lot of responsibilities of being in both the yearbook and newspaper class, it’s actually quite easy to use materials from one class in another,” Smith said. “A big event, such as homecoming, has photo opportunities, story ideas, gives the ability to use social media platforms and the chance to get extended coverage of the student body.”

Former WEHS newspaper editor in chief, Nikki Culver, was the first Raider to intern at The Wylie News. Following in her footsteps, former newspaper editor in chief and copy editor DJ [Brennan]Howell took over Culver’s internship when she moved to Lubbock to attend Texas Tech University.

“During my internship, my duties included minor copy editing, photography and column writing,” Howell said. “The knowledge of quote structure, headline writing and photography definitely came in handy while performing various roles. During my stint with the paper, I picked up some design techniques and the importance of networking,” Howell said.

The third editor from East to land the internship at Wylie News was Brooke Vincent, class of 2015. She is currently studying journalism at The University of Texas at Austin.

“Mrs. Thedford’s class gave me the building blocks and basics of journalism that are so important to have when going in to an internship,” Vincent said. “Many incoming journalism students in college still don’t know what a lede or nutgraph is and it really hamstrings them when applying for internships. I felt so much more prepared, because even if my writing wasn’t great, I was able to improve and build off of my experience on a student paper.”

The internship at the Wylie News not only speaks volumes on Vincent’s resume, but her work she created while there showcases her talents.

“It was so incredibly helpful for my career in college. Working at a small, local newspaper gives you opportunities you can’t get elsewhere,” Vincent said.

The Wylie News allowed her to manage projects, try her hand at layout, write stories and take photos, skills that are incredibly marketable and can give interns a leg up on everyone else trying to jump-start their careers.

Next to take over The Wylie News internship was Luke Pendley, class of 2018. He interned from 2016-2018. Upon Pendley’s graduation this past May, Smith took over many of his roles.

“We call Maddie the new Luke. She took over his editor positions in both yearbook and newspaper as well as his internship at The Wylie News,“ Mrs. Thedford said. “She is also our webmaster for Blue Print, just as Luke was.”

Smith plans to study journalism after she graduates in May.

“These interns don’t fetch coffee. They are journalists gaining experience while building their portfolios,” Thedford said.

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