Monday, July 20, 2009

Turner '10: Covering serial killings in North Carolina

(This entry is #5 in our series on summer 2009 Aggie journalism interns.)

The Battalion's new media editor for this fall, Calli Turner '10, is interning at the Gastonia Gazette in Gaston, N.C., where she's reporting both features and news in addition to shooting and editing video.

Recently, in fact, she's been covering the Gaffney, S.C., serial killings: This link goes to a video overview she edited, from which more of her videos on that topic and others can be found.

I asked Turner, a senior English (rhetoric track) major and history minor who'll graduate in December, to tell us a bit about how she learned her video skills, and about herself and her internship, and she was kind enough to respond:

I learned to edit video from the 2008-2009 New Media Editor Sarah Linebaugh, who came to The Battalion from KBTX. We started the webcast together, which was our endeavor to relaunch the new media desk after a hiatus. She shot and edited, and I reported the stories. Eventually, I switched over to behind the camera and began shooting and editing, which is now my favorite place to be! In the fall I'll be able to train the editors and reporters in video, so I'm really looking forward to that.


I started at The Battalion January of my freshman year as a copy editor. After that I served as the city editor, and this past year I worked as a copy editor, designed the sports and front page, wrote for the city desk and helped to relaunch our new media desk. I always find myself falling in love with a new aspect of the newsroom, so I tend to wear many hats.

I received my internship through The Institute for Humane Studies, which primarily places interns with Freedom Communications papers. Through my internship, I attended a week-long journalism seminar in June at Bryn Mawr in Pennyslvania. I really enjoyed being able to meet and speak with such talented professionals, such as Gretchen Morgenson of The New York Times and Megan McArdle of The Atlantic. We also had former White House Senior Economic Adviser Korok Ray on hand to teach seminars in welfare economics, microeconomics, macroeconomics and the financial crisis.

I also walked away from the seminar with good news for my fellows Aggies — almost every speaker said their No. 1 advice is to not major in journalism. They said it was more valuable to go and learn something — a foreign language, economics, art history, anything. If you really love journalism, then you'll find a place that will let you develop your skills and your clips.

I'm interning at The Gaston Gazette in Gastonia, N.C. I'm writing feature stories, news reports and shooting and editing videos. I've also had the chance to help others in the newsroom learn video editing. It was a definite change to go from The Battalion to The Gazette, because my first day on the job I found myself shooting a video with just a handheld camera — not the professional camera, tripod and wireless microphone I was spoiled with before. I began shooting video simply because I like learning new things, but now I find the skill more and more in demand, so it has helped to receive many of my internship offers this summer. I really cannot say enough about how valuable multimedia skills are for today's journalists.

I write a lot of local feature stories, but I also have two in-depth projects I'm working on for this weekend. One I am really excited for is an economic analysis for Gaston County in comparison to the other 99 counties in North Carolina, and also the economic predicitions for 2013.

In the fall I will return to The Battalion and serve as the new media editor, and afterward, I'll cross my fingers and hope to find a job.

This is the link to the video I produced on my first day at The Gazette.
My favorite video this summer is a feature on a Gaston resident who turned his yard into a rose garden.
For this video/story package, I was able to ride around town in a smart car (the video is linked on the right).