Media Meet the Public Intern
posted by August 15 at 9:00 AMon
Like all quality newspapers—the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Moses Lake Frontier Bugle—The Stranger employs a public editor. A. Birch Steen scrutinizes The Stranger’s content and takes our editors and writers to task for omissions and errors. But great newspapers are not just created by editors and writers. The Stranger, like all great newspapers, also relies on a large group of unpaid interns.
Without the efforts of these trust-funded young men and women, paid staffers wouldn’t be able to drink at lunch and do bong hits at their desks and still put out Seattle’s Only Newspaper. We salute them, even if we don’t always bother to learn their names.
We held many discussions during our redesign process—a fresher, more confusing Stranger hits the streets today—about how we could better serve the public. During one of those discussions an editor pointed out that while we rely on interns to do our thankless grunt work—filing, sorting faxes, basic research, fetching coffee—our readers don’t have interns to do their thankless grunt work.
Meet Steven Blum. A graduate of Roosevelt High School in Seattle, Steven is the first to hold the newly created position of public intern. So far as we’re aware, Steven is the first public intern at any publication in the United States.
What does a public intern do? Well, just as the public editor works on behalf of readers, the public intern interns on behalf of readers. Steven is your intern, Seattle, he works for you. So what do you need done? A little research? Some filing? Gardens need weeding?
Steven will be taking three assignments per week. Yesterday we gave Steven his first assignment: We handed him a bottle of Formula 409 and a roll of paper towels and sent him out to clean a Metro bus. Steven will be writing about his experiences as the public intern on Slog and you can read about how his first assignment went later today.
If you have an assignment for Steven—he’s your intern—e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org, or suggest in the comments thread. Thank you.