Meet The Observer’s Spring 2023 Interns

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The Observer welcomed its Spring 2023 interns Jan. 11. From left to right: Daniel Locke, Noah Griffith, Madeline Acosta. All three are students at Auburn University.

BY MICHELLE KEY
MICHELLE@
OPELIKAOBSERVER.COM

OPELIKA —

Key Media, LLC welcomed its three newest college interns from Auburn University last week.

The staff will be working with these students during the majority of the spring semester and the program is a requirement for graduation for two of the three interns in their degree fields. 

Key Media has enjoyed a strong relationship with the internship program with four interns going on to work in a full-time capacity at some point over the past five years.

The first assignment for the interns is to polish their interviewing skills by interviewing each other and writing a feature piece after the interview. Other assignments over the next few months will include covering local events, reporting on city and county governmental meetings and putting their photography skills to test.

Each intern will also be tasked with writing at least one magazine feature for Key Media’s LIVE Lee Magazine.

Key Media looks forward to sharing their work with its readers and followers on social media.

DANIEL LOCKE

BY MADELINE ACOSTA

FOR THE OBSERVER

OPELIKA —

With the start of the new year, The Observer would like to introduce Daniel Locke as one of the spring semester’s student interns.

From Helena, Alabama, Locke originally studied hospitality management at Auburn University. After working at WEGL 91.1 FM alongside fellow students, Locke started the sports talk show “The Eagle’s Nest.” Locke also reported on athletic events, which inspired his passion for journalism.

“This is what I want to do for the rest of my life,” Locke said.

After changing his major to journalism, Locke continued to grow as an aspiring journalist.

“I want to make my sport’s journalism career in print,” Locke said. “Being an MLB or NHL beat writer is kind of the goal at this point. So, I feel like [writing] with the newspaper would be the best route.”

Considered one of Locke’s best friends, previous intern at The Observer, Harrison Tarr, introduced the intern program to Locke.

“I owe a debt of gratitude to him for that,” Locke said.

Along with his love for sports writing and journalism, Locke said he also enjoys partaking in some of the athletics he writes about, such as golf. Locke’s fascination with sports doesn’t stop there, as he said his favorite pastime is watching Major League Baseball.

“I love to watch the Red Sox play,” Locke said. “It’s my favorite thing to do, even when they are bad.”

Locke has watched the Red Sox play across multiple ballparks, and even though he said he might have bias toward Fenway Park, home of his favorite team, there is one MLB ballpark that holds a special place in his heart.

“Bush Stadium in St. Louis is really nice,” Locke said. “I really like what they have been able to do there. Even though they have had NFL and they have NHL now, baseball is the only game in town there. It’s just a town in middle America that loves their team and is very passionate about baseball.”

Outside of the sports world, Locke said he considers himself an avid Disney fan.

“I’ve been to Disney World 10 times,” Locke said. “My mom got me into it. She started taking me when I was very young [with] me and my sister. That’s definitely something I’m going to continue with my kids one day.”

NOAH GRIFFITH

BY DANIEL LOCKE

FOR THE OBSERVER

OPELIKA —

As always, January brings a new semester, and with a new semester comes a fresh batch of interns.

The Observer would like to introduce Noah Griffith, who spent last semester as the assistant sports editor for the Auburn Plainsman.

A 21-year-old senior at Auburn University and resident of Phenix City, Alabama. Griffith has an inspiring story to tell.

When Griffith was 16, he was diagnosed with a rare disease called Friedreich’s ataxia, which ended his sport-playing days.

“I knew I wanted to stay involved with sports,” Griffith said. “I didn’t really know how, but my dad said, ‘You’re a good writer, and you make A’s on all your papers.’ I just kind of decided to get into journalism and jumped into the sports section at the Plainsman and then took off from there.”

In addition to sports, Griffith said he enjoys community writing.

Griffith has made a name for himself through his writing about accessibility in sports.

“That’s kind of my passion and my personal brand,” Griffith said. “I’ve always been a sports fan, and I like to talk about sports. But I think my way to be unique and different in that and to not be repetitive is to talk about my experiences as a student with accessibility issues — or maybe not even issues, maybe good things that I experience and to kind of help others to understand. For 16 years I never thought I would have had a disability, so I know how that thinking goes. It’s not something a lot of people relate to.”

Griffith participates in a clinical trial with the University of Florida to aid in the research of his condition.

“I just take a drug that tries to slow the progression,” Griffith said. “… It’s good to be involved in research and to know that things are moving forward to find a cure.”

While many people would let getting diagnosed with a rare condition keep them away from the things they love, Griffith has found a way to get closer to them.

After graduation, Griffith said he wants to pursue a career in reporting, but he would be open to a career in design as well.

MADELINE ACOSTA

BY NOAH GRIFFITH

FOR THE OBSERVER

OPELIKA —

As the community flips the calendar over to a fresh new year of 2023, The Observer welcomes in some creative new minds with three student interns  — one of those being Auburn University senior Madeline Acosta.

In her first time working with a newspaper, Acosta said she is enthused to bring a unique, outside perspective to the community. After all, she has found her path as a creative writing major and is looking to display that creative spirit to the local area.

“I hope to write some creative pieces along with the articles that we’ll be writing because I like writing a lot of short stories, and that’s what I’m currently doing in class,” Acosta said.

All throughout her collegiate experience, Acosta has taken an unprecedented route.

First, reigning from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Acosta repelled the obvious choice of going to hometown LSU and decided to grow her roots and make a home on The Plains.

“I always wanted to travel; I was wanting to go out of state,” Acosta said. “Auburn always felt very welcoming every time that I toured, and so I just knew it was the right place to go.”

Writing is Acosta’s new passion, but it wasn’t the obvious choice right off the bat. Now, she is minoring in political science, which was her major when she came to Auburn in 2019. But that didn’t stick, and neither did her second option of majoring in law and justice.

Now in her final semester of college, Acosta said she is looking to adjust to writing for publication, which she plans to continue after college. She has experience writing for her high school magazine, but interning with The Observer is yet another opportunity for Acosta to keep thriving with branched-out wings.

As well as short stories, Acosta said she is a lover of books, which she displays by also working for the Auburn Public Library as a library aide. From the “Percy Jackson”  series to “Harry Potter,” Acosta said she is simply a lover of stories and desires to pass that on to others through her vivid storytelling.

“I love writing any kind of current events and doing any need-to-know kind of thing,” she said. “So, if something happens in town, I want to be there to get the scoop on what happens and get all the details to tell. And I like the idea of interviewing people, and I think that will be a lot of fun as well.”

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