In just two days, Joanna Mann went from college student to newspaper intern in the smallest town she’s ever lived in.
Mann, 22, received her college diploma Saturday, June 12, at the University of Oregon.
By Monday, June 14, she began a 10-week internship at the Baker City Herald as part of the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism.
Mann grew up in Las Vegas.
“It was pretty normal. I lived in a suburb,” she said.
But she didn’t stay away from the famous city.
“We’d take advantage of the shows, concerts, and restaurants,” she said.
Mann said she chose the U of O for a different type of life experience.
“I really wanted to go out of state and experience a new climate and environment,” she said.
Her initial plan was to major in music for vocal performance.
“Right before the school year started I realized I didn’t want to do that,” she said.
She chose a journalism major after a few months at Oregon. She credits a class called “media professions” for influencing her choice.
“I didn’t realize how many different jobs you could have in journalism,” she said. “And I’ve always liked writing. It seemed like the right path.”
She worked at the Daily Emerald, a student-run independent newspaper, for three years.
She started on the opinion desk, then moved to opinion editor.
During the summer of 2020 she interned at the Eugene Weekly where she covered arts and culture. She also worked on PR for the UO School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC).
“I don’t see myself doing PR. I didn’t love it,” she said.
For the past year she’s been on the Emerald’s news desk.
“Which was really crazy. My first story was about the wildfires,” she said.
Other topics included how COVID-19 was affecting education, and how the U of O was fulfilling a promise of addressing equity, diversity and inclusion on campus.
“There were no slow news days,” she said.
She graduated with a degree in journalism and a minor in music.
This is her first time in Baker City.
“I’ve never been anywhere this small,” she said with a smile.
When her internship ends, she plans on moving to Portland.
“I really like the Pacific Northwest. I love having seasons,” she said.
But she’s open to possibilities — both for work and location.
“I feel like I haven’t found the part of journalism I’m most interested in yet,” she said. “And I want to experience living in a bunch of different places.”
About the internship
The Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism honors the life and career of Charles Snowden, a longtime editor at the Oregon Journal and The Oregonian.
According to the SOJC, Snowden, who retired in 1986 and passed away in 1997, “had a great passion for good writing, history, and the practice of ethical journalism. He is remembered not only as a top-notch editor but also as a mentor for many young journalists.”
In his memory, the Snowden family established an endowment for the program at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. The endowment has funded more than 250 internships for students since 1998.