Hi! My name is Cindy Abrams and I am a senior Environmental Studies-Politics major, graduating this May. This spring, I have been continuing my internship for News Bling, a digital news media startup that works to provide factual news in a quick and easy-to-read format. A large part of the work we do here at News Bling is working to remove political bias from the stories we present by aggregating news sources to give readers an accurate representation of the story.
I actually began interning for News Bling in the summer of 2019, writing short political analyses of news stories that were being portrayed in different ways by left-leaning and right-leaning news sources. As a writer, I contributed about one story per week that was then looked over by an editor before being released. I enjoyed this work so much—it kept me up to date on current events, while keeping my writing abilities in check over the summer—that I decided to stay on the team for the duration of the school year.
Towards the end of fall semester, I was asked by my supervisor to step into the editor position for the spring. This offered me a valuable opportunity to test out the waters on the other side of production. My step into a new position also corresponded with a company rebranding. News Bling had decided to alter our format from political analyses to a comprehensive newsletter entitled “Bullet Points.” As a newly appointed editor, I was able to partake in the development process of “Bullet Points,” offering insight into the formatting, content, and structure.
As our deliverable is a digital newsletter, the work is done remotely. I’ve contributed to News Bling from Whitman, back home in Oregon, all across the U.S., and even at one point, India! Because of the remote nature, News Bling writers and editors, many of whom, like me, are college students, contribute from all across the country. However, this year there are two editors and one writer from Whitman! While I’ve never met the majority of my coworkers, it has been great to discuss in-person the internship with the other Whitman students.
I’ve found the flexibility of a remote internship really helpful amidst the demands of senior year as I am in control of when to fit internship work into my schedule. Typically, I work 4-5 hours per week, split across two days. After receiving submissions from the writers on their respective days, I edit each of their pieces for typos, tone, factuality, and source-checking. It is important that our newsletters are concise, to the point, and factually accurate, so readers can feel confident in News Bling. After editing, I work within our marketing platform (called Mailchimp) to format, generate, and schedule the newsletter (they are sent out at 3:30am every weekday morning). Finally, I try to send feedback to each writer, informing them of what can be improved upon and what was well-written in each submission. From start to finish, the process takes about two hours.
This has been my first internship within the news media/editorial world, and it has been a very valuable experience to improve my writing, analysis, and editing skills. Watching a company grow and having the opportunity to play a role in that is one that I will never forget. Post-graduation, I would love to pursue work within the editorial realm, and my experience with News Bling has created a strong jumping off point for this type of career. I would like to thank Whitman College for enabling me to participate in this internship, and for providing the funding to make it possible.
If you would like to subscribe to News Bling’s daily newsletters, sign up here! https://www.newsbling.co/!
Experiences like Cindy’s are made possible by the Whitman Internship Grant, which provides funding for students to participate in unpaid internships at both for-profit and non-profit organizations. To learn how you could secure a Whitman Internship Grant or host a Whitman intern at your organization, click here or contact Assistant Director for Internship Programs Mitzy Rodriguez