Outlook Reporter Sets Foot on National Journalistic Stage
By Dominique King
If you had told me at six-years-old that I would be graduating from Florida A&M University (FAMU) this upcoming May or that I would be selected as an intern for the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) I would not believe you.
Back in January, a casual conversation with my editor-in-chief turned into an opportunity of a lifetime. She announced that NNPA would be hosting their annual Black Press Week in Washington D.C. and that they were seeking an intern. I was a little hesitant to apply for the internship. So, I did not initially apply. I figured I would not be selected and as usual I talked myself out of an opportunity.
No less than a week later my editor urged me to apply—so I did. A month later, I received the news that I had been selected. Immediately, I questioned my capabilities. How would I measure up to the other students selected? Am I really a good writer? What if I embarrass my editor?
Although, questions of doubt swirled around my head it was time for the rubber to meet the road. There I was 10,000 feet in the air – en route to Washington, D.C and there was certainly no turning back.
Upon my arrival at Black Press Week I felt right at home. I was surrounded by 19 other interns from all over the country. We were like sponges eager to absorb whatever was thrown at us. The doubt that once clouded my mind soon escaped.
During our first day we were immediately put to work. The NNPA Columnist and Editor-in-chief George Curry put our journalistic skills to the test.
“By a show of hands how many of you consider yourself to be good interviewers,” asked Curry.
Few of the interns raised their hands but by the end of our experience we would all raise our hands. Curry challenged us to step outside of our comfort zone during our time at the Black Press Week.
While there, we worked as real journalists fishing for our next story. My three days spent in D.C. were challenging but rewarding. The NNPA served as the training grounds for me and the other interns. Day in and day out we had to attend various events and report on them. We were surrounded by Black excellence and reported on speakers such as Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
I also learned about the history of the NNPA and witnessed the enshrinement of NNPA’s distinguished Black publishers. I realized that I came from a legacy of Black pioneers who overcame their obstacles and used their obstacles as stepping stones. The Black press has served as a leading news source for the Black community and I knew that it was my duty to carry on that legacy.
Furthermore, I brushed shoulders with NNPA’s Torch Award Honorees: Florida’s former Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll; attorney Benjamin Crump; gospel artist Hezekiah Walker and many others. The honorees had been recognized for their various efforts in the Black community.
Being selected as an intern for the NNPA was a rewarding experience that I will never forget. The experience taught me how to be more confident in my abilities and to embrace change. I forged relationships with 19 other interns who also aspire to be successful Black professionals.
I believe that our time spent at the NNPA’s Black Press Week sparked a flame in us that will forever burn. I now know that it is my duty as a journalist to preserve our legacy for the future generations. Because I realize that no one can tell our story the way that we can.