The NC Local News Intern Corps, an idea prompted by the COVID-19 crisis, came together in May and delivered its first stories in early June from a summer newsroom of four reporting interns and a supervising editor. Over the weekend, after the group’s final day, intern Anton L. Delgado delivered an update on Twitter about the team’s impact:
In two months, @NCNewsWorks' 4️⃣ reporters produced 3️⃣0️⃣ stories that were published 8️⃣9️⃣ times by 3️⃣0️⃣ newsrooms.
That's an average of nearly 3️⃣ pick-ups per story. Most newsrooms worked with us more than once and 1️⃣2️⃣ organizations published three or more of our stories. https://t.co/cybWMgXV7E
— Anton L. Delgado (@antonldelgado) August 2, 2020
Those numbers kept growing this week, and answered one of the questions we had for the Intern Corps: Would newsrooms be able to use stories from a pool?
The answer was yes, with more than 50 editors on our email list by the program’s end: many stories reached a variety of audiences, from mainstream newspapers to Black and Latinx digital media outlets, and some continued getting picked up in the weeks after initial posting.
Now, we’re doing more assessment: surveying editors, talking with the interns, and measuring impact: What does this program show us in terms of the NC Local News Workshop’s goals for strengthening local news?
This wasn’t just an intern program, but also the first initiative of the Workshop, which launched this year as a response to major disruption in local news — the dramatic loss of local journalists in North Carolina and elsewhere, and the opportunities for new approaches to helping people know what’s happening in their own state and communities.