Trevor Lenzmeier is a Dow Jones News Fund editing intern at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. A 2018 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, he wrote for The Daily Tar Heel, QSR magazine and Media Hub while in college. In this interview, conducted by email, Lenzmeier discusses his internship experience, his journalism education and what’s ahead.
Q. Describe your internship. What is your typical workday like?
A. I interned with one other Dow Jones intern on the universal desk at the Post-Gazette.
My typical day includes reviewing stories on the web that have already been published when I get in, editing print pages in the evening, plus page design and putting together briefs — little recaps of the four or five biggest stories from around the country and world for the next day’s paper.
I write headlines for the U-desk, but I have also worked on a reporter’s podcast and been allowed to write some concert reviews and foodie pieces, which has been awesome.
Q. What was the biggest challenge of the internship, and what was the greatest reward?
A. The hours are long, and everything happens in a flurry. You have to be able to go from 0 to 60 in an instant while handling a few different pots on the stove.
There are also daily challenges you have to roll with, like everyday technical errors and last-minute breaking stories, while keeping a cool head and communicating with a big team of journalists.
You get a daily, physical reward, though, in the form of a newspaper in the morning. Noticing corrections I’ve made in our copy is intensely gratifying.
Q. What advice would you give to students considering applying for a Dow Jones News Fund internship?
A. Take the practice tests online, review the AP Stylebook, taking note of what trips you up, and read the news! Reading news stories from The Daily Tar Heel to The New York Times leads to better news judgment and more familiarity with unfamiliar style conventions.
Write for the DTH and take Professor Bechtel’s class (he didn’t ask me to say this). UNC had me very prepared for the Dow Jones editing bootcamp at Temple University. Get work experience early; the Daily Tar Heel is an excellent place to start.
Q. Congratulations on the internship. What’s next for you?
A. I’m thrilled to be staying in Pittsburgh. I’ve accepted an offer to be a two-year associate editor on the sports desk.
My internship wraps up at the end of August, and I’ll start my real-world gig in the middle of September. More of the same and a whole lot more editing to come.
I’m incredibly grateful to my j-school professors, the Daily Tar Heel and Dow Jones for the opportunity!
UPDATE: In fall 2019, Lenzmeier accepted a position as features desk editor at The Seattle Times.