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The Jefferson Journal is JPR's members' magazine featuring articles, columns, and reviews about living in Southern Oregon and Northern California, as well as articles from NPR. The magazine also includes program listings for JPR's network of stations.

Press Pass: JPR Welcomes Ella Hutcherson As Summer 2023 Snowden Intern

Every year since 2019, Jefferson Public Radio has hosted a summer intern through the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism. The University of Oregon program places recent and soon-to-be graduates from all Oregon colleges in newsrooms across the state.

Current JPR reporter Roman Battaglia was the first intern JPR hosted in the summer of 2019. This year, JPR welcomes Ella Hutcherson, a recent graduate from the UO and former managing editor of Ethos Magazine. Hutcherson and Battaglia sat down to chat about his Snowden experience and her expectations as she learns how to report for a public radio station.

Roman Battaglia

Could you tell me about your journalism experience coming into Snowden?

Ella Hutcherson

I joined Ethos Magazine my sophomore year, which is an independent student publication. I joined it as a fact checker. So that was sort of my basis for journalism was just this like, very meticulous, rigorous fact checking process. But while I was learning how to do that, I also was very adamant about writing. So, I made them let me write, and I published a few longer feature pieces. That's still something that I really like to do.

I remained at the magazine the whole time I was in college. I became an editor my junior year, I was the managing editor this year. I also took on an internship at Eugene Weekly, after my sophomore year, and I did arts and culture while I was there, mostly. I also worked on the homeless obituary projects that they did. I stayed on after my internship as a freelancer very sporadically.


What is Ethos Magazine?


Yeah, the mission is basically just to uplift marginalized voices in Lane County. So, we try to do things that aren't necessarily getting covered in other places. This year, our cover stories were about Oregon nonprofits after Roe v. Wade, and how they were dealing with the overturn [of the law]. We did a story about this clown couple in Portland. And then our most recent edition that just came out, the cover story is about the local women's tackle football team.

I was wondering about what your highlights of the Snowden experience were, since you were at the same place?


When I came in, I had experience with the audio side of stuff, like I knew how the radio worked. But I'd never done any reporting in the field. So, I learned a lot about how to get good audio.

I think it depends on the intern who comes in since you have different experiences. You have a lot more experience in writing. It sounds like your training might focus more on [reporting] the actual audio piece and how to create an audio story.

You've done like a lot of different kinds of reporting like education reporting, science reporting and other diversity, equality stuff. What are you most interested in exploring while you're here at JPR?


Yeah, I have yet to find something I really don't like doing in journalism. I really had a lot of fun doing arts and culture when I was at Eugene Weekly, getting to talk to directors and authors and artists. That kind of thing was really, really fun for me. I've really enjoyed the science reporting that I've been doing lately. I just really like getting to talk to people who are passionate about something and getting to kind of put that on display. I think it's really important, the education reporting, all of that is really important. I don't have a bad time doing it, but it's way more, I think, emotionally fulfilling and fun when people want to talk to you, and are excited about what they're doing than it is when they're like, “I have to talk to you, or you'll print that I didn’t,” type thing.


What do you hope to learn the most about during your internship?


I'm just excited to learn about the public radio format, and getting to develop my skills in audio. But also, I think I want to learn about, the community in Ashland and in that area, and get to familiarize myself with Southern Oregon a little bit more. Lately, especially in my senior year, it feels like I have kind of just been raring to go. It’s like, school almost starts to get in the way at a certain point. I'm excited about just the workflow of it and being able to work at a faster pace, dedicate more time to reporting and getting to do more without having to worry about those other things.

Is there anything that you wish you had known or wished you had thought about before going into your Snowden internship?


I think that knowing you'll get the support that you'll need is important. I came in and was like, “Oh, my god, this is such a professional field. I feel like I'm not capable of doing any of this stuff.” But everyone obviously knows that you're not a full-time journalist yet. And if you make a mistake, you just kind of learn that that's all part of the learning process. And that's what will help make you better.

Look for stories by Ella starting in July, 2023.

This transcript has been edited for length and clarity.

Roman Battaglia is a regional reporter for Jefferson Public Radio. After graduating from Oregon State University, Roman came to JPR as part of the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism in 2019. He then joined Delaware Public Media as a Report For America fellow before returning to the JPR newsroom.