NPC Scholarship Students Invited to “Shadow” at NDN

Penny Fisher, News Editor-Naples Daily News, extended an invitation to our NPC Scholarship students to “shadow” a reporter or editor of the NDN. This is a terrific opportunity, and two of our scholarship students have taken advantage of it, thus far. Fisher is also inviting the other eight NPC scholarship recipients to have this experience, as well.

Ellie Rushing-Naples High School ’13, Rollins College, currently the editor-in-chief of the Rollins student newspaper, shadowed Shelby Reynolds, a NDN reporter. Rushing’s story:

My Shadowing Experience at the Naples Daily News

By Ellie Rushing

Shelby Reynolds, a 24-year-old reporter for Naples Daily News, is extremely versatile in her writing. She covers topics like lifestyle, home and garden, entertainment, and even breaking news sometimes. I first met with her at the office and we planned for the story: an interview with Hedy Gillhuber, a 104-year-old woman who lives alone in her 1950s-style home in Aqualane Shores. [The story is on the front page of the Jan. 20, 2018, Neapolitan section.]

Not only did I love witnessing how Shelby prepared for and executed the interview, but it was great being able to talk with another journalist only a little bit older than I. She gave me some interesting perspective on the industry as a young journalist, which was helpful.

I had a great time getting to know Shelby and the world of journalism in my hometown. I cannot thank Penny Fisher and the NDN enough for giving me this opportunity to learn, and Connie Kindsvater, for helping me set it up!

Tamica Jean-Charles(right)-Naples High School ’16, FL International Univ.-Miami, shadowed Harriet Heithaus (left), NDN Arts & Culture Writer. Jean-Charles’ story:

Shadow with Naples Daily News’ own, Harriet Heithaus

By Tamica Jean-Charles

I was fortunate to embark on my first shadowing experience at the Naples Daily News. Penny Fisher, the current NDN news editor, paired me with Harriet Heithaus, the NDN arts columnist, and Heithaus kindly allowed me to accompany her on one of her upcoming stories.

We started off the day with a tour of the building. It was as if I walked into a movie set. The newsroom was everything that I had imagined. Heithaus then took me behind the scenes of the printing press, and told me the ins and outs of production. The printing press at the NDN building is responsible for printing not only their own but the News-Press’ paper as well, both part of the USA Today group.

Heithaus was on assignment to preview an upcoming play at The Marco Players Theater. “Flamingo Courts” is a three-act dramedy filled with tales that are quite familiar to southwest Florida natives.

We drove over to the theater to interview the cast and crew. There, she and I gathered information on the various roles as well as the actors’ setbacks and hopes for the show. I had the chance to watch how Heithaus gathers the information through her specific questions and recording techniques. I even had the opportunity to have one of the photos that I took published with the actual story (photo below)!

“Arthur (Ron Pirello) peers into an uncertain future as he prepares for the departure of his wife, Clara (Cindy Hile) to a nursing home. The people we know, love, fear live in Marco Island’s ‘Flamingo Court’” — Harriet Heithaus

My time with Heithaus was incredible. She did an amazing job not only with her story, but also with giving me a sneak peek into the life of a journalist.

I would like to give an enormous thanks to Heithaus for being my first shadow experience. I would also like to extend my gratitude to Fisher and the Naples Daily News staff for giving me this amazing opportunity. Lastly, I would like especially thank Press Club of Southwest Florida Scholarship Chairman Connie Kindsvater for bringing this experience to my attention! I am forever grateful for the NPC Scholarship and everything it has done for me.

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