Despite the precarious state of mainstream media, Peter Wright ’11 is pursuing a journalism career through multiple internships.
“Something lacking from journalism today is the ability to think critically and ask more complicated questions. So I figured it was more useful to know how to think.”
Peter Wright ’11 (Oklahoma City) has wanted to be a journalist since he was quite young. “Yeah, my mom has a habit of breaking out old videos of me pretending to be a TV reporter,” he laughs.
So why attend a liberal arts college with no journalism major? “The field is changing so fast and specific equipment changes in just a few years,” he says. “Something lacking from journalism today is the ability to think critically and ask more complicated questions. So I figured it was more useful to know how to think.”
With that in mind, Wright has pursued a history degree at Macalester but also multiple newspaper and TV internships. He spent last summer on the breaking news desk of The Oklahoman, where four days into his internship he wrote a front-page story, and last fall working on Almanac, a weekly public affairs program produced by Twin Cities Public Television.
“I knew I’d be doing research on political topics but I also ended up doing makeup,” he says. A particularly memorable makeup job was the one he did on a former U.S. senator from Minnesota. Says Wright, “You’d be surprised what you can learn about yourself when you’re alone in a room with Norm Coleman and a container of Cover Girl.”
This summer he is working at both the [Minneapolis] Star Tribune and the local CBS affiliate, WCCO-TV. He found the Star Tribune and Almanac internships through the college’s adjunct journalism instructors, who teach reporting and advanced writing. In an effort to gain further experience, he will serve as the top editor of The Mac Weekly next fall.
“I’ve always liked writing, sharing people’s stories, and conveying information,” says Wright. “Journalism is so essential to a democratic society. I want to be the one producing it.”