Photo courtesy of Emily Eppard

Senior Emily Eppard attends a school board meeting through her internship at The Central Virginian.

“I have always considered myself to be a civic-minded person and I believe it is crucial that people, especially voters, be educated about issues and events. With this comes the concern that the news people are consuming is either biased or entirely fake. This is especially worrying because of how common it is for people to get their information from the internet. Before the digital age, people would get their news from newspapers or local news channels, which have trained, experienced, and usually reliable reporters. Once anyone could distribute information as quickly as the internet allows, though, the news landscape changed. People trust the information they read on the internet blindly, even when they should do more to verify the reliability of a source. 

This trust of misleading sources is dangerous enough when the only topic is current events and politics, but when the information spread is medically inaccurate, as was the case especially in the beginning of the pandemic, not having media literacy can be fatal. So I decided to intern with a reliable and trusted local news source: The Central Virginian

I have accompanied my mentor, the editor of The Central Virginian, Mr. David Holtzman, to events and took notes at them. I was even able to help write an article for the newspaper. Beyond this, I have helped edit the pages before they are sent to press and researched potential stories. I researched the campaigns and policies of Representative Abigail Spanberger and Delegate Nick Freitas to prepare interview questions. I was able to sit in on an interview between Mr. Holtzman and Representative Spanberger.

To me, interviewing the candidates is a prime example of the actions The Central Virginian takes to educate Louisa area voters. In preparing questions, Mr. Holtmzan and I focused on the actions both candidates have actually taken so that we could inform people about how well the candidates were actually serving their constituents. Mr. Holtzman has impressed upon me the importance of getting people’s input, but still reporting the facts.”