This summer, we were pleased to sponsor 10 Ithaca College students in their internships at independent news outlets and nonprofits across the country. The students, from various areas of study, found opportunities to develop skills and push for new ways to apply them in rigorous hands-on work.
Jess Williams (’25) spent the summer interning at the Rochester Beacon where he wrote a total of 13 stories for the website over two months. Williams said, “The Beacon was the perfect place to intern at because I got to contribute to a smaller independent publication that had more freedom in what it reported on, with a focus on community building.”
The dual journalism and English major said the highlight of his experience was his full nine-day coverage of the Rochester Jazz Festival. “I covered the festival by myself, giving me full responsibility over the entire process,” said Williams. “This task brought me some valuable experiences, like navigating the process of reserving press passes, writing pieces with a one-day turnaround, networking with other reporters and photographers at the event, and getting to know the ins and outs of a large-scale music festival.”
Williams said the festival’s social media manager shouted out his work at the Beacon. “It was really nice to be recognized for my work like that, especially since the Beacon trusted me enough to give me that much control over my coverage.”
Prakriti Panwar (’26, Journalism) interned at Crooked Media in Los Angeles. Over the course of the summer, she worked with the development team and freelance journalists outside the company on limited series podcast projects and went on to collaborate with producers, showrunners, and hosts on three upcoming narrative and investigative podcasts.
Working closely with her fellow interns and her supervisors, Panwar said she gained valuable skills from experience on several projects. “I had the opportunity to have ‘lunch and learn’ sessions with the founders of Crooked Media, where I gained insight into the business aspect of the creative industry.”
For her final project, Panwar put together a pitch for a podcast called Unsheltered, which would investigate homelessness and the housing crisis across different cities in the world. “This idea originated from a project my team and I did in our investigative journalism class in Spring 2023. I conducted additio
nal interviews with Crooked’s employees and partners and put together a two-and-a-half-minute trailer for it … My presentation outlined the content of all episodes and explained the different stages of development I went through while working on the pitch.”
Lorien Tyne (’25, Journalism) spent her summer as the Monadnock Humane Society’s Media Relations Intern. Tyne was primarily responsible for creating and scheduling content on the nonprofit’s Facebook and Instagram pages. She also created small packages of writing and photography about MHS for local publications. Most of her time was spent hanging out with the animals, photographing and videoing them, and learning about their unique personalities and needs to advertise them appropriately.
“Overall, my experience was very positive, and I got more practice with multimedia,” said Tyne.
As a general assignment reporter, he wrote on topics including local politics and community events. “One of the most memorable moments of my internship was when I had the opportunity to cover a local rally opposing proposed NYSEG rate increases,” said Villasenor. “It was a challenging assignment as emotions were high, which made securing sources a challenge. However, through careful observation and thoughtful questioning, I was able to capture the essence of the protest and report on it accurately and objectively.”
Aubren said that the assignment “provided inspiration for a longer investigative piece focusing on NYSEG billing issues, which will be published in early September.”
He went on to say that his internship “was a rewarding experience that allowed me to grow both personally and professionally. I am excited to continue pursuing my passion for storytelling and making a positive impact through my work.”
Evan Miller (‘23, Journalism) spent the summer interning with the prominent Long Island print and online news organization Long Island Press.
“Throughout my time with Long Island Press, I had so many chances to grow as a journalist and I made the most out of each of them, reporting on important issues that affect multiple communities throughout my home on Long Island,” said Miller. “Reporting on these stories gave me some of my most meaningful experiences yet in my budding career as a journalist.”
Evan covered a protest in front of a USPS distribution center where postal workers were picketing against workplace abuse as well as a local press conference about the Fentanyl crisis and its effect on Long Island.
This helped Evan both to gain valuable writing and editing experience and connect with people in his community. “The aspect that I love most about reporting is being able to listen to other people’s stories and communicate them to a wider audience. By gaining new perspectives, not only am I able to grow as a journalist, but I’m able to grow as a person as well.”
Clare Shanahan (’23, Journalism) interned at Living on Earth, a weekly environmental news and information radio program, where she was able to combine her love of environmentalism with her love of journalism.
“I cannot overstate how grateful I am to have spent a summer working specifically in the content area I am passionate about with equally passionate people,” said Shanahan. “I came to Ithaca knowing that I wanted to do journalism with a focus on environmental justice and the climate crisis. And while I have been grateful to report on many different things both in and outside of this area, it was refreshing to have the thing I have always known I wanted to do as my sole focus.”
Over the summer Shanahan learned many transferable skills, most notably how to navigate the interview process with radio guests. She said that this experience helped her to develop a love of the radio format.
“When I initially applied for and was offered the placement, I was very apprehensive, having never worked in an audio-only format before. However, the LOE team was extremely welcoming and accommodating of my experience level and I am very pleased to have found an internship that gave me a foot in the door to producing audio stories, as that is something I now know I would like to continue to do as part of my post-grad job.”
Chelsea Coichy (’24) interned at Long Story Short Media in Washington, D.C. Coichy, a Television & Digital Media Production major, said that the best part of her internship was being able to network with people.
“It was nice to hear their journeys about how they got their respective job positions and advice on what steps I should take after graduation when I enter the job market.”
“I also loved being able to stay in D.C for the summer and getting to know the city and scope it out as a possible place to move after to school, since the city has many career opportunities for journalism,” said Coichy.
Farid Ahmad (’24, Politics) interned at the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) for a second year this summer. Ahmad’s responsibilities were increased from the previous year, and he spent most of his time drafting and posting news releases on the IPA website and distributing them to journalists.
“My experience at IPA this summer was really great once again,” said Ahmad. Working at IPA has been beneficial for him, as it aligns well with his interest in global politics. “I am very passionate about learning more and more about social, political, and economic affairs of the world and learning about its historical context and interning at IPA aligns with that perfectly.”
Throughout his two years at IPA, Farid has been exposed to a wide range of new journalists and writers. “Researching different journalists to add to different databases allowed me to discover good reporters who I can refer to when doing my own reading. Writing my own news releases gave me a better feel of how to report well and concisely and improved my editing skills.”
Ethan Lieberman (‘25, Journalism and Economics) spent his summer as a remote intern at the Palast Investigative Fund. The majority of Ethan’s time was spent investigating potential sources and building files for record-keeping. Much of his work also pertained to the production of a documentary project on Osage oil theft that is meant to accompany Martin Scorsese’s new film Killers of the Flower Moon.
“Perhaps the most interesting leg of my summer internship came when I traveled to Washington DC to access a 15-box collection of documents relative to the Senate Special Committee on Indian Affairs 1989 investigation into the Bureau of Indian Affairs mismanagement of native resources,” said Lieberman. “Though the national archivists had promised access to the collection, upon my arrival in DC, I was informed the documents had all been reclassified. Further, I came to find that CSPAN destroyed all videographic evidence of the investigation’s proceedings.”
“I suppose the grandest takeaway is that investigative journalism is quite often impeded by forces with enough money and power to do so.”
Olivia Stanzl (‘23, Journalism) interned at The Progressive, where she attended editorial meetings and, along with the other interns, presented a weekly article written about the beat of her choice.
“It has been an amazing opportunity,” said Stanzl. “[My supervisors] asked me to return in the Fall, which I am going to do!”