For the past eight weeks, you’ve been seeing the bylines of two news interns in The Times and Democrat and at TheTandD.com.
Caleb Bozard of Barnwell and the University of South Carolina and Lauren Pringle of Fort Mill and Claflin University (2022 graduate) have reported on a variety of stories.
Lauren’s work includes interviews on early voting, coverage of the launch of a nursing program at Claflin and a report about a new state law giving patriotic organizations access to recruiting in the public schools. You’ve also seen Lauren in video reports such as the focus on fireworks for July 4.
Caleb covered June’s primary elections, a special election in Calhoun County, a town hall meeting with Regional Medical Center officials and an Alzheimer's fundraising bike ride returning to Orangeburg. You’ve also seen his name on coverage of issues such as how relief organizations are coping with inflation.
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Lauren’s internship was made possible by T&D parent company Lee Enterprises, which has committed to promoting journalism via internships at a host of its newspapers around the country.
Caleb’s internship came via The T&D being selected by the S.C. Press Association Foundation to host one of the students it selected for the summer journalistic experience.
Both Lauren and Caleb have impressive student biographies.
At Claflin, Lauren majored in mass communications with a concentration in journalism. As a senior, she was dually enrolled, taking graduate-level courses through the University of South Carolina. She graduated with honors from Claflin in May with a bachelor of arts in mass communications.
In the fall, Lauren will continue pursuing a master of arts in mass communications with a concentration in multimedia journalism from UofSC Columbia as a full-time graduate student. She is the daughter of a retired Navy veteran and an educator, Steven and Dawna Pringle.
In addition to her internship experience with The T&D, Lauren has been a Sugar Creek Elementary School intern producing content for virtual presentations and authoring stories for kindergarten-second grade students.
Caleb is a junior journalism major at UofSC Columbia and is the son of Rick and Amy Bozard of Barnwell. He has been an active member of UofSC’s student newspaper, The Daily Gamecock, since his sophomore year and currently serves as news editor. He has also worked for his hometown paper, The People-Sentinel. He has a background in photography and audio-visual storytelling.
In Lauren’s words
“I thoroughly enjoyed interning at The Times and Democrat. It was a lot of fun and if I had to opportunity to stay longer, I definitely would!”
Biggest obstacle: “One obstacle that I was faced with daily was people not returning my phone calls. This made it very difficult to get interviews for stories and to reach deadlines. Although, faced with this obstacle, I learned that if you call them quite often, they will eventually answer your call. Consistency is key!”
The experience: “The most rewarding experience of this internship was working with Times and Democrat staff and gaining experience in a traditional newsroom setting, which has allowed me to grow my portfolio and skillset.”
Learning: “During my internship, I learned how to effectively navigate tricky or controversial interviews. I also improved my writing skills and I learned how to conduct extensive research necessary before diving into a news story.”
More of what: “I would have liked an opportunity to be involved with writing hard news stories that involve crime in the justice system. Of course, I would love to have had my internship extended because I enjoyed it so much.”
Takeaways: “The biggest takeaway from the past eight weeks is that deadlines are extremely important in this line of work. If one misses a deadline, the newsroom can become a very stressful environment. … Deadlines are imperative and always will be!”
In Caleb’s words
“My summer here in Orangeburg has been incredibly rewarding. I can’t thank The T&D and the South Carolina Press Association enough for granting me this opportunity. I feel like I’ve grown so much as a journalist these past few weeks. This is an experience that I think will have a great impact on my future career.”
The experience: “The most rewarding experience of the internship was probably just getting to experience reporting in a new community. I feel like I’ve really gotten to dive into Orangeburg and I’ve felt supported by everyone I’ve worked with and spoken to. Also getting to tell my parents and friends that I had my own desk, trash can and stapler.”
Most unusual occurrence: “Calling a candidate on primary night to ask for comment and hearing them complain to someone at their election night get-together about annoying reporters.”
Learning: “I learned that the best way to get comfortable with a new community, a new audience and new skills is trial by error. So many things I was nervous about doing I ended up forgetting to be intimidated by after doing it a few times."
More of what: "I would have liked to have had more weeks of my internship fall after gas prices started to fall instead of during their peak as I drove from Columbia or Barnwell and back each day."
Takeaways: "My biggest takeaway is that I don’t need to be nervous about adapting to a new, ‘real’ newsroom because there are a lot of professionals willing to share experience and advice with interns and newcomers. This makes me feel a lot less nervous about my career options and where I might end up after graduation in May.”
“I just want to thank Lee Harter, Gene Crider, all of The T&D staff and the SCPA for making sure I felt supported and had all the things I needed to succeed and grow this summer. Look out for my coverage in the fall with The Daily Gamecock and the Carolina News and Reporter at UofSC Columbia.”