Journalism Student Earns Professional-Level Awards for Internship Work
When Gretchen Lasso, senior journalism and digital media production major, interned at WEWS News 5 in Cleveland during summer 2018, she didn’t just gain relevant experience — she received professional-level awards and recognition for her hard work.
Lasso earned two Regional Emmys for her stories on stem cells becoming the future of medicine and a six-month investigation of the Euclid Police Department. This award (which Lasso earned for the Lower Great Lakes region) recognizes excellence in media production and television broadcasting.
Also, a story about how state regulators allowed Ohio's pill mill crisis to explode, published with her name on it, won a Regional Murrow award, which honors outstanding achievements in broadcast and digital journalism.
“Being recognized and awarded for my work is an incredible feeling,” Lasso said. “I am honored to be recognized. However, the work I did and the impact these stories will continue to have on the community would still matter without the award.”
Lasso interned in WEWS’s investigative unit. She says she feels grateful for the station for not only recognizing her work, but also for giving her valuable experience. Her favorite part of her internship was being able to tell stories that matter — the ones that people don't often see.
“Holding public officials accountable, being a watchdog and looking out for the community means so much to me,” Lasso said. “I also got to work with incredibly talented and passionate people; who wouldn't love that?”
Lasso’s daily internship responsibilities included requesting and following up on public records, analyzing data, building Excel spreadsheets, vetting sources, setting up interviews, assisting with scripts and web stories and making data visualizations. The experience made her realize how important investigative journalism is. “Before my internship, I respected investigative journalism but didn't realize its impact on the community,” Lasso said. “Change has come from the stories I worked on and that is so important.”
Lasso’s interest in journalism and digital media production began when she was a child. “I have been passionate about journalism for as long as I can remember,” Lasso said. “As a child, I was on my city's cable kid’s news show, and in high school, I was part of our live daily 10-minute show.
She credits Kent State for helping her obtain and excel at her internship.
“Broadcast Reporting and Interviewing and Data for Journalism were the most impactful, as well as my experience reporting and producing with TV2,” Lasso said. “I know I would not have gotten the internship without TV2 and student media.”