Intern joins Journal staff for summer

rpulley@lsjournal.comJune 18, 2014 

Austin Cannon is home from college and he’ll spend this summer seeing his hometown from a new perspective.

Cannon, of Lee’s Summit, has an internship at the Lee’s Summit Journal, earning credit in his journalism program at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa.

A 2012 graduate of Lee’s Summit North High School, Cannon said during his last couple of years there he discovered he was good at writing, although his main academic interest was history. He also is a sports fan. He didn’t work on the high school newspaper or yearbook.

“It was totally new for me when I went to college,” Cannon said. “The theory of being paid to watch sports is very appealing to me.”

He’s served as sports editor for the university paper and will be managing editor in the coming semester.

While trying to decide on a college major, Cannon said he landed on the goal of becoming a sports writer, although he’s open to other working in areas of journalism. The courses he’s taking at Drake have a print-centered emphasis, although he’ll also get training in doing online work, such as video production or web design.

“They want you to be well rounded,” he said. “Even newspapers are doing videos now.”

He said one of his most interesting and challenging tasks was an assignment where a professor told each student to write about a problem at Drake.

“I said single-ply toilet paper, half jokingly,” Cannon said. “My professor said ‘Go for it.’”

Cannon interviewed maintenance people at the college, students who had gripes about the paper and learned the university, with its enrollment of about 5,500 students, spends about $60,000 annually on toilet paper.

“They have a legitimate excuse, for what it costs,” he said.

He said he wanted to spend one last summer at visiting with family and friends and playing softball at Lee’s Summit Christian Church. He is the son of John and Kathryn Cannon and has a sister Bailey Cannon.

Cannon will be writing feature stories in Lee’s Summit and in the process learning more about his hometown. His first assignment is working on updates for paper’s upcoming Guide to Lee’s Summit, for instance, stories on it’s non-profit organizations.

“I’ve only heard about half of them, Cannon said. “That was interesting, that’s a preview of more new things I’ll learn.”


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