If you want to add energy and excitement to your team, hire a top intern.
We just did that at the Fort Worth Report. Times three. With the financial support of the Carter and Richardson foundations, we have hired three journalism fellows for the summer. Two of the three, Cristian ArguetaSoto and Rachel Behrndt, started last week. Our third fellow, Brooke Colombo, starts next week.
ArguetaSoto is a May TCU graduate who was born and raised in Fort Worth. He is brimming with story and photo ideas about his hometown.
The middle of three children, ArguetaSoto learned English as his second language, attending R.L. Paschal High School, Rosemont Middle School and Alice D. Contreras Elementary. He spent a year at J.P. Elder Middle School in Northside and played violin in mariachi there. He also played soccer for years growing up and wanted to be a professional soccer player.
At the Fort Worth Report, we’re thankful his soccer career took a detour to journalism.
“I want to be at the Fort Worth Report because I want to see local journalism thrive in the city that I grew up in – that matters to me,” ArguetaSoto said. “It’s amazing what I’ve learned about what’s going on behind the scenes in this city, and it has only been one week.”
Behrndt, who grew up in the Metroplex, is a University of Missouri senior eager to get back to Texas. On her LinkedIn profile, she describes herself as a convergence journalist “doggedly pursuing truth.”
Like ArguetaSoto, Behrndt is highly motivated to serve her community. She even helped establish a non-profit fellowship at Missouri focused on increasing the amount of reporting about sustainability. In what spare time she’s had around working multiple internships and attending classes, Berhndt likes to work at community pottery studios and visit state and national parks.
“I decided to pursue journalism because I believe in serving my community through information,” she said. “Fort Worth Report has given me a great opportunity to embed myself in a community and tell the stories of its residents that don’t always get told. I’m so excited to continue getting to know Fort Worth this summer and feel so lucky the city’s residents would trust me to report their stories.”
Our third fellow, Colombo, starts after the Memorial Day weekend. She impressed Managing Editor Thomas Martinez and me immensely with her thoughtful answers to our interview questions.
Colombo is a May graduate of the University of North Texas, where she was named the top journalism student in print and digital this spring. She previously interned at the Denton Record-Chronicle and has worked as a reporter and news editor at her college newspaper, the North Texas Daily.
Also a Metroplex native, Colombo said she’s eager to explore the community and dig deeper. When she’s not telling people’s stories, she enjoys dabbling in photography, spoiling her rescue dog, video gaming and collecting houseplants.
“The Fort Worth Report first appealed to me because of its nonprofit nature and emphasis on community,” she said. “I wanted to work somewhere where I can immerse myself in the community and serve its people with their best interests in mind.”
After almost four decades in journalism, I am always inspired by the dedication and desire of our future leaders. With these three, you can see why.
For What It’s Worth
Editor’s note: Publisher/CEO Chris Cobler is a nostalgic Baby Boomer who likes to name his columns after 1960s protest anthems. When he was editor of the Washburn University Review in 1980 in Topeka, Kan., he called his column “Blowin’ in the Wind.” Now that he’s in Fort Worth, he can’t resist the title of another of his favorite songs, “For What It’s Worth.”
Although the songs are political, Cobler pledges to keep his columns focused on the community and not partisan politics. The mission of the Fort Worth Report is to bring people together around fact-based journalism, making this line in the Buffalo Springfield song especially meaningful: “Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.”