My experience at the Rochester Beacon
MacKenzie Kenyon ’22
My time spent interning at the Rochester Beacon was both eye opening and incredibly interesting. The Rochester Beacon is an independent not for profit newspaper started in 2018 with the goal of “building a stronger Rochester by serving as a source of and forum for ideas and perspectives that are rooted in intellectual openness and drive informed public action“.
I went into the internship with the intent to work on one major story that I had discussed with Smriti Jacob during a course I took with her last semester discussing the growing industry of esports in the greater Rochester area. I was privileged to have completed this story and have it be the lead story for the week following April 7th. This story was incredibly rewarding to work on and connected me with a lot of great and intelligent people in this industry in Rochester.
In addition to my lead story, I wrote a few drafts about things like research grants given to researchers at University of Rochester and the possibility of Rochester using a commuter tax to keep revenue within the city. My last published story was an event piece on the LEGO fan convention that was in Rochester during April 23 and 24 at the Main Street Armory in downtown Rochester.
I also was able to try my hand at other duties of a multi-media journalist like creating a social media post to advertise an upcoming even hosted by the beacon, edit a video intended to raise funds, and edit a highlight video for an event held last year with now Rochester City Mayor Malik Evans. These experiences gave me a variety of learning on the duties I may find at a small community publication like the Rochester Beacon.
I was very thankfully to be invited to sit in on editorial meetings where people pitched stories for the week and discussed numbers for the stories from the previous week. I found it fascinating the way certain stories were able to have longer shelf lives based on current events. For example, a story published a few months ago about the state of homicides and gun violence in Rochester saw a large boost in views due to a shooting that had occurred recently. Additionally, there was a smaller meeting held every week where I got to interact with another intern and discuss any issues or pitch stories with my advisor.
Overall, this experience was great. I went into the internship not knowing exactly what to expect since I didn’t know if journalism was something I wanted to do. I found that this is a career that I should seriously consider as I thoroughly enjoyed the work and am still so proud of my published pieces. The connections I have made during my time with the Beacon are ones I can continue to rely on and I am excited to work as a freelancer on stories with the Beacon in the future. I highly recommend that anyone take the community journalism course with Professor Smriti Jacob and that they intern at the Rochester Beacon if they have the slightest interest in journalism- MacKenzie Kenyon