Budding journalists learn ropes at Gazette
The Royal Gazette received a welcome boost this summer courtesy of a group of young Bermudian interns pursuing careers in journalism.
Those who read the bylines may already be familiar with the work of Jahzuena Douglas, Ezrah Rampersad and Rajan Simons, all of whom contributed to the paper over the last few months.
The trio have covered the festivities at Cup Match, looked into the local popularity of Pokemon Go and investigated — and found — a missing public bench in St David's, as well as carrying out many other assingments.
Ms Douglas and Ms Rampersad, both Berkeley Institute students, said they were driven to the paper by their desire to explore journalism as a potential career.
“We were both recommended by Francis Wainwright,” Ms Douglas said. “She is a counsellor at Berkeley, and she knew we were both interested in journalism. I have wanted to be a journalist since middle school and when the opportunity presented itself I was just really excited to come to The Royal Gazette.”
Ms Rampersad added: “It was a really exciting moment to know that I could be an actual journalist for the summer.
“The people have been amazing and showed us wonderful things that might not be said in journalism school. Personal tips from people with years of experience. They have helped us a lot, so I am very appreciative.
“I also really enjoyed going out into the field and talking to people because I am not a social person, but just going up to strangers and asking their opinions has helped me out.”
Ms Douglas said the highlight of the experience for her was being able to see her name in print and knowing all of the work she had done to achieve it. “We started off doing press releases and minor things, so to be able to see my name on an article that I wrote, that the whole of Bermuda can see . . . it was really that ‘awe' moment,” she said.
Both said they were hoping to continue their studies in journalism after graduating, with Ms Douglas setting her sights on college in the United States and Ms Rampersad focusing on schools in Britain.
Meanwhile for Ms Simons, her summer at The Royal Gazette was a return performance — her second internship at the paper.
“Last year I had a good experience, so I decided to come back,” she said. “I finished my Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and I thought that my time at The Royal Gazette helped me a lot. I made a lot of contacts last year, and it was able to help me with my dissertation, which was a Bermuda tourism website. I was able to get my name out there. People know me, and I think that's only going to help me as I pursue my journalistic career.”
She said the highlight this year was the increased freedom to pursue her own stories ideas and develop them. For Ms Simons, the next step is the University of Arts in London where she plans to study public relations.
“I want to get some experience in journalism and PR,” she said. “I definitely want to do both and develop those skills. Maybe open up my own firm in Bermuda that does everything — a one-stop place you can go to for all of your media needs.”
Regular readers of the paper will also have spotted photographs by Sideya Dill, who spent the summer working with The Royal Gazette's photography department.
Photographer Blaire Simmons praised her hard work over the last few months, saying: “Sideya shows a lot of promise as a photographer. She was up for the challenge on many occasions and produced some great work for the newspaper.
“It was a pleasure working with Sideya for the summer and I hope she continues on with her photography as she has a natural ability behind a camera.”