Interning at the Chicago Tribune Update: Newsgate and Training

Dear Reader,

Day 2 of interning at the Chicago Tribune is in the books.

What does my day look like?

Well, every morning at around 8 a.m., I get up to prep for the day (I could walk through every excruciating detail, but you would probably have better things to read), and catch the 9:54 train from Wheaton to Ogilvie Transportation Center in downtown Chicago.

The bustling center of transportation. Auntie Anne's pretzels are right next to the trains. It's unfairly tempting. Note to self: buy nose plugs when approaching trains.
The bustling center of transportation. Auntie Anne’s pretzels are right next to the trains. It’s unfairly tempting. Note to self: hold nose when approaching trains.

I voluntarily hoof it over to the Tribune Tower, which is on Michigan Ave. The fact that I work on Michigan Ave is great because it’s safe, bustling and pretty, and it’s bad because going out to eat lunch probably means dropping a load of cash — something I don’t have a lot of right now. #collegeliving

When I get to the Tower, I navigate through the labyrinth that is the editorial floor to the design area and report to my supervisor, Chuck Burke. I’m interning with design and copy editing, so I will theoretically operate only on CCI Newsgate.

These past two days, I’ve been trained how to use Newsgate. It has come pretty quickly to me, mostly because I’m a very intelligent person. Just kidding. I’ve learned how to use Adobe InDesign, and though a few basic functions are different than InDesign, Newsgate still has the same goal as InDesign. That makes it easier to understand.

Some dummy designs I've made over the past two days. They're replicas of pages I found in the Tribune's past two days' papers. Pretty good, huh?
Some dummy designs I’ve made over the past two days. They’re replicas of pages I found in the Tribune’s past two days’ papers. Pretty good, huh?

Tomorrow, I’m supposed to start my first real published design with the Chicago Tribune, in their six-page Real Estate section. Though I know next to nothing about Real Estate, I’m excited to learn about it as I design!

Yay newspapers! Yay design!

Photo credit: Bernt Rostad, Mark Buehler, via 

P.S. By providing links to the Wikipedia pages of the news designing software, I’m not trying to insult your intelligence — I often ran into technical terms that everyone but I seemed to know when looking up things I should know as a journalist, and it’s just even easier, in my opinion, to give the links to the Wikipedia pages right off the bat. But whateves. 


King Abdullah II of Jordan story — why Wheaton people are amazing

Dear Reader,

This last week, I wrote a story which ended up being titled, “King Abdullah II’s approval high, students say.” I was pleased with the title because it simultaneously captures the subject, the event, who I interviewed and how it applies to the student body.

It was published in The Wheaton Record’s Feb. 13 issue 20, and you can read it online here.

I learned about the event during a car ride to Minneapolis, MN — the editor in chief and the managing editor were discussing the week’s upcoming issue during the 6-hour trip — and knew that I wanted to write about it. Here’s how our managing editor pitched the idea:

“So the King of Jordan said that he’s going to personally lead airstrikes against ISIS!” (Or something close to that.)

How could I not be interested? Imagine Barack Obama picking up a rifle or jumping in a cockpit to teach the IS a lesson! If the leader of Jordan was going to be spearheading a bombing run, it meant something huge about the difference in value placed on honor and military displays of power between the US and Jordan.

Those rumors turned out to be false, but still pointed to the level of approval that King Abdullah II enjoyed.

The story also promised great interviews with students who studied or worked abroad in Jordan over the last few semesters (our managing editor being one of them — shh!) so I took on the story and was not disappointed with the material I collected from the dialogues.

Perhaps the most substantial lesson I learned from writing this story is that Wheaton has some amazing people. Four of these students travelled to the water-poor and threatened state of Jordan to pursue what they individually loved. Terrorist activity is high in Jordan — mostly targeted against US citizens — and violent demonstrations break out frequently. But Wheaton was still willing to send them there — one student went through a HNGR (Human Needs and Global Resources) internship, which means that Wheaton trained her specifically for her experience in Jordan. For all the talk about Wheaton being the safest place in the world, it sends its students to some of the unsafest places for the sake of experience, learning and spreading the gospel.

Much respect, Wheaton.


Photo credits to The Royal Correspondent