Reporters don’t have cooties – well, at least interns don’t

January 18, 2010

(While at the Sackville Tribune-Post, I got to write a weekly column called Instant Intern. This one appeared in the January 13 edition.)


When I was in the ninth grade, I job shadowed my aunt for a day. She works in administration at Mount Allison University, here in Sackville.
I didn’t see much of the town, just the inside of her office and a little bit of the campus. I don’t remember much about that day, honestly – as it was seven-ish years ago. Before last Wednesday, that was my only experience with this town.

My name is Jillianne Hamilton and I’m an intern at the Sackville Tribune-Post. I’m a second-year Journalism student at Holland College in Charlottetown. I’m originally from Five Islands, Nova Scotia – yes, a community smaller than this one.

Before I arrived in Sackville – two days late because of poor road conditions – a friend of mine who attends Mount A suggested I bring lots of sweaters and dress in layers.

I understand now.

I chose Sackville for my internship placement because I’d heard nothing but lovely things about the town. I also wanted to try my hand at a weekly newspaper since I was at a daily last year in Truro, N.S.

After my first few interviews for the Tribune, I quickly discovered something about the locals that I never found in Truro or Charlottetown.

In this business, you will regularly come across people who are too busy to be interviewed or stand for a photo – or they just don’t like reporters.

“Those sensationalists just look for the scandal in everything.”

Sackville citizens, as far as I can see, genuinely care about their local newspaper. People seem eager to help out with a story or a photo and don’t mind when an intern stammers out a question. I don’t feel like I’m being ridiculed or judged when my words sound less than graceful. (I like to think I write better than I speak.)

And that’s refreshing.

If you care to drop me a line – feedback, criticism or a story idea – feel free to e-mail me at

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