South Dakota News Watch is proud to announce that Kylie Carlson, a senior at South Dakota State University, has been selected as the 2022 recipient of the Jeffrey B. Nelson Investigative Journalism Endowed Internship.
Kylie is working as a paid, full-time reporter for News Watch most of this summer under the tutelage of Bart Pfankuch.
“I’ve been pleased with how quickly Kylie has meshed with the News Watch content team,” Bart said. “She’s worked well independently, but has also teamed up with Stu and me to pool reporting efforts into a more complete whole on a few article topics.” Kylie’s articles have already appeared on the front pages of several South Dakota newspapers.
Get to know more about Kylie Carlson with this short Q&A:
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am originally from Britton, in northeast South Dakota. In high school, I was involved in just about everything (except golf, golfing is not for me). Growing up in such a small community opened a lot of doors for me to get involved in almost anything I was interested in, which I’m very grateful for. Before retiring, my dad was a farmer north of town and my mom works at the school.
Why did you choose journalism and communications as a major at SDSU?
As many kids facing high school graduation do, I panicked over what I wanted to major in for a good while. From the time I was five years old to my sophomore year, I was dead-set on taking after my late grandfather and becoming a pharmacist – until I realized that I have a special hatred for math, and science was not my strong suit. I was involved in our high school’s yearbook staff taking photos, designing pages, and doing a little bit of writing. I really enjoyed it and then had the opportunity to intern for a semester with our local paper, the Britton Journal. While working with them, I’d had zero prior training as a reportering and had never heard of AP style or story organization. So I struggled but really enjoyed being able to tell stories to a wide audience. That experience and a love of photography spurred me to finally decide on a journalism major. While at SDSU, I discovered a love of volunteering and nonprofit work, which led me to choose a leadership and management of nonprofit organizations minor. I loved both programs and have found that for my experiences and interest areas, they work together really well and have led to my having a hand in some really cool projects.
Tell us about your first month working for News Watch.
My first month with News Watch has been a very interesting experience. A fun experience, for sure, but also a very big change for me. Prior to this internship, all of the reporting work I’d done had been very local, both with the Britton Journal and with the Collegian, SDSU’s student-run newspaper. Adjusting to a state-wide scale has definitely been the most challenging aspect, but also very rewarding because I’ve gotten to see myself becoming a better journalist.
What are your future plans after your internship with News Watch?
After this internship, I’m hoping to get involved with another nonprofit news source and continue using what I know and have learned through this experience to contribute to an organization whose mission aligns with the subjects I’m passionate about.
When I’m not busy working on stories or research for South Dakota News Watch, I like to …
I love reading and cooking, so you can usually find me outside in the sun with a book or in the kitchen hoping I can recreate the recipe in my head without using any measurements. I’ve also recently moved to northern Colorado, so I’ve been exploring my new environment a little bit as well.
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