Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Job Application Gone Awry

Some of my readers may or may not know that I recently interviewed for and was given the opportunity to be the Stranger's next News Intern. Everyone has asked me "what exactly does a news intern do?" Well, here is the job advertisement that was posted a few weeks ago:
"Do you spend your days dreaming of digging through court records to find out terrible things about secret Republican politicians? Or following the often mind-numbing actions of the city and county councils? Or perhaps fighting grizzly bears?

How about doing two of those three things for free? (You have to pay to see the bears.) If so, we have the opportunity of a lifetime. The Stranger is looking for a news intern.

Just think—the Slog posts you will post! The arcane information you will look up! The Morning News-es you will post on weekends still slightly drunk with a screaming headache at 8 a.m.! I have lived through all of those experiences, and emerged stronger.

Interested? Send an e-mail telling us why you should be the chosen one (with two or three clips or other writing samples, if you've got 'em)..."
Today was my first day, and it went well. My assignment was to head over to the SPD East Precinct and obtain hundreds of electronic police report copies. After that, I spent a few hours skimming through them all trying to find something worthwhile. There were hardly any interesting ones. However, I picked one, and did a short write-up of the incident. It's a rough copy, but we all have to start somewhere. And I present it as such:
In these troubled economic times, dropping off a job application can get you mugged on the side of the road. A Seattle Police report obtained from the East Precinct indicates that on November 19th at approximately 2:20 p.m. the victim in this case was driving from Renton to North Seattle in order to deliver an application for employment. "He was then driving south on 3 Ave NW from Holman Rd NW and hit a pothole, flattening his right front tire." After pulling off to the side of the road, he went to his trunk to obtain a can of flat repair spray. Soon thereafter he noticed a "large sidewall hole" on the flat tire. The victim reported feeling a blow to the back of the head, but initially thought it was the side-view mirror. The victim turned to notice an unidentified suspect standing over him with a kitchen knife--"possible black handled steak knife, stainless blade, with a copper colored cap where the blade joins handle"--pointed, at close range, at the victim's neck. The suspect took the victim's cash and fled the scene on foot. "Victim thought about driving after the suspect but then recalled that his tire was flat," the report concludes.
Thoughts? Comments? Criticisms? This is all a work in progress, and I hope to get the most out of this internship before it ends in three months time.

[Update] - Here is the actual post.

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