Progress Editor Chosen for Washington Post Internship

Robinson photo

It’s a long way from his hometown of Tacoma, Wash., to the nation’s capital. But, for Wesley Robinson, it was a much shorter journey from the unemployment line to Eastern Kentucky University that has propelled the senior journalism major to a Summer 2014 internship with The Washington Post.

He began his college studies at the University of Kentucky but, after being laid off from a management position with a specialty staffing firm, Robinson decided to transfer to Eastern Kentucky University, “just wanting to get my degree so I could start making money in the real world.”

He arrived on the Richmond campus in Summer 2012 “with full intentions of doing nothing but taking classes,” but Department of Communication faculty members, including Chair Dr. Liz Hansen and Reggie Beehner, had other ideas. Sensing his writing talent, they conspired to steer Robinson to The Eastern Progress, the student-produced campus weekly. He joined the paper’s staff that fall and this year serves as its editor-in-chief.

Clearly, the 2003 Jeffersontown (Ky.) High School graduate has been a key player for the award-winning college publication the past two years. But Robinson is quick to point out it’s what that experience and Eastern faculty have done for him that made the Washington Post internship possible.

“The Progress gave me a home, a purpose and a second chance at being a top editor at a school newspaper,” Robinson explained. “It has given me a different perspective on the news and helped me understand that it doesn’t take breaking news to make a newspaper. I’ve got to work with so many great students and learn from great faculty while at Eastern. I’m truly thankful for my time here.”

While serving the 12-week paid internship, Robinson will work on the metro desk as a general assignment reporter. “This will mean everything from crime, politics, human interest, news features, and anything an intern would cover.”

Little wonder Robinson, who’s on track to graduate in May, is “beyond excited” for the opportunity.

“I hope to learn from the best journalists in one of the fastest-paced markets in the country,” he said. “Many great journalists have spent time at The Washington Post, and I hope I can begin an ascent to those ranks during the internship.

“Obviously, an internship is just a small amount of time at the paper, but it’s humbling to be selected for the position to get the opportunity to hone my skills. This is one of the most competitive internships in the country. I’m not sure that I’m deserving, but I will make the most of the internship and use it as a springboard to prosperity.

“I am so thankful I could cry. So many people have helped me grow as a writer, editor and person to get to this point. I hope to honor them with my continued efforts.”

In addition to the advice offered by Hansen and Beehner, Robinson cited the kindness, support and counsel of other Department of Communication faculty members, including Deborah Givens, Ginny Whitehouse, Jim Gleason and David McFaddin.

Almost as much as the internship itself, Robinson is eagerly anticipating “the DC experience. I’m looking forward to a metropolitan environment and experiencing urban culture. I can’t wait to be thrown into the environment of our political landscape.

“On a larger scale, I can’t wait to show off that Eastern Kentucky University can put out students on par with any college in the country.”

Published on December 10, 2013