Pictured above is this summer’s Michigan News Group. From left to right is: Benjamin Ackley, Christian Booher, Courtney Pedersen, Gena Harris, Michael Livingston, Riley Connell, Teresa Homsi, and Aurora Rae.


After a two-week training period at WCMU Public Media in Mount Pleasant, eight students began their first day at community newspapers across central and northern Michigan Tuesday (6/1).
The Summer 2021 class of Michigan News Group interns are part of an innovative internship program that trains young journalists in their craft and enhances local journalism for various communities.

The program places Central Michigan University students with local newspapers, where they cover the community and produce content for both the newspaper and WCMU Public Radio. This unique partnership allows WCMU to expand its offering to listeners on important issues of the day, help begin filling news deserts in Michigan and continue the station’s long tradition of training young journalists.

The Michigan News Group internship originated in 2019, a partnership between WCMU and two newspapers. After doubling to four interns in the summer of 2020, this summer, the program doubles once again – with eight CMU College of Arts and Media students living and working in eight different communities, partnering with eight newsrooms.

These newsrooms are focused across central and northern Michigan, including Alpena, Bad Axe, Big Rapids, Cadillac, Greenville, Leelanau, Midland and Traverse City.

“I think this is going to be a great summer for WCMU and our communities,” WCMU News Director Amy Robinson said. “We have a talented group of interns hitting the ground today (Tuesday, June 1), in eight communities around Michigan. I’ve been training the students over the past two weeks, and I’m so impressed! These are just the right people to take on the challenges this internship brings. We have already aired stories from every one of them, and lots more are coming.”

Returning 2020 student reporters Michael Livingston and Aurora Rae have been placed in different locations this year, reporting for the Traverse City Record-Eagle and Midland Daily News, respectively.

Other student interns include Riley Connell at Cadillac News; Teresa Homsi at Huron Daily Tribune; Benjamin Ackley at Alpena News; Christian Booher at The Daily News in Greenville; Gena Harris at the Big Rapids Pioneer; and Courtney Pedersen at the Leelanau Enterprise.

While the student interns began working at their assigned newsrooms June 1, they haven’t been letting grass grow under their feet since starting mid-May, explains Robinson.

Ben Ackley in Alpena says, “It hasn’t even been two weeks, and I already feel like I’ve learned a ton! I’m writing stories faster and better with every day that passes, and it seems like the only way to go is up!”

Learn more about the Summer 2021 Michigan News Group interns and hear their journalism stories at radio.wcmu.org/michigan-news-group-internship.

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