Morgan Gonzales is working for the Dallas Morning News as a Medicine and Science Reporting Fellow. (Photos: submitted, Graphics by Sam Perez)
Grady InternViews: Morgan Gonzales
This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.
Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.
I work for the Dallas Morning News, my title is Medicine and Science Reporting Fellow and I am working from my apartment in Athens, GA.
I am on the Business desk and report on medical and science news. I am responsible for reporting and writing my stories. A typical day includes our morning team meeting over video call, reaching out to sources, planning stories, writing and editing.
How is it structured?
I’m working remotely. Many of my co-workers are still working remotely, so the team has been fantastic about accommodating my lack of physical presence. It’s difficult to not be able to go check out things that I’m covering in person, so I’ve made a ton of phone calls, looked at places on Google Maps and attended some live streams of events. Last week I covered a nurses strike and “attended” via Facebook live. I got help from a veteran reporter on a story about a new, more affordable insulin option, and Google Docs made it easy for us to both be in the document and talk through it together. That experience was so informative. I’m really grateful for the team on the business desk.
What has been the biggest growth you’ve experienced so far?
My writing and interview styles have been the most noticeable improvements to me. I think both of those require experience and time to improve, so I’m so grateful for this opportunity to hone my skills.
How do you feel that Grady has prepared you for tackling the job?
My professors in the journalism department have done such an amazing job preparing me for this! Professor Sabriya Rice told our class about this opportunity, and because of the reporting skills I gained from her class I decided I should apply. She has been truly inspirational. I came into grad school with no experience actually reporting, so her class taught me critical skills that I’ve relied on heavily during my fellowship. My advisor, Dr. Karin Assmann, has been so supportive while I’ve been in school and during the fellowship. She always checks in on me and makes sure I am doing alright, and has been instrumental in my progress as a reporter. I am so lucky to be in this department and to have the mentors I do!
What is the most memorable experience you have had during your internship? Tell us a story if you have one!
I got to interview a gold medal winning Olympian, Laura Wilkinson, for one of my first stories! That was a highlight for sure. She was great to talk to and that story was fun to write. I’m going to Dallas to do some in-person reporting the first week of August, so meeting my coworkers and working on projects together will be the most memorable experience, I’m sure.
What lessons will you take back with you to Athens in the fall?
I’ll definitely be utilizing the lessons I’ve learned with my writing in the future. But also flexibility, I’ve learned stories don’t always go the direction I think they will, and my day often goes in a different direction than I anticipate. The stories that surprise me are usually the best.
The purpose of the Dallas Morning News-Grady Health, Medicine & Science Reporting Fellowship will be to train the next generation of health care journalists over the next several years. More specifically, the fellowship program will provide journalists-in-training at the University of Georgia with hands-on reporting experience in a big-city newsroom. Each summer, a Grady journalist will work with a Dallas Morning News editor and cover the business of healthcare.