As a student at Williams College, Danny Jin was already familiar with the Berkshires by the time he interned at The Berkshire Eagle in summer 2018. The opportunity to meet and interview more people in the county gave him additional perspective, and the motivation to stay in the area after graduation.
“On my first day, my boss said ‘I don’t want you in the office. I want you to be out talking to people,’” Jin said. Working with the Eagle’s features team, he spent the summer writing up arts events, museum exhibitions, music festival previews, and other articles highlighting Berkshire cultural life.
An American studies major at Williams, Jin was born in Boston and grew up in Scarsdale, N.Y. “Once I started going to school in the Berkshires, it felt like I knew it a lot better than the other places I’ve lived,” he said. He was on the staff of The Williams Record, the college’s newspaper, “but it’s definitely different to actually be in a newsroom [full time].”
He found his internship listing through Lever’s Berkshire Interns program, which lists available positions through Williams’ career center. Through BI, he had the opportunity to meet other Berkshire interns and attend free cultural and networking events (if he wasn’t already covering them for the paper). “It was nice to have these opportunities to meet other people who were in similar situations,” he said.
Jin continued to freelance until he graduated in May 2020, and is now the Eagle’s statehouse reporter—the first full-time Eagle reporter to cover statehouse news in many years, made possible in part by Report for America. Though he’s mostly stayed on the western end of the Commonwealth due to the pandemic, he’s covered the state Democratic Committee’s chair elections, debates over police reform legislation, and issues related to housing, transportation, climate, and more. “A lot of it has been doing more analytical pieces about how the decisions that come out of Boston affect this part of the state,” he said.
Jin said his first Eagle internship prepared him with the skills to work in this new role, even if the topics were different. “A lot of the basics are similar—interviewing and finding out what’s at the core of each story,” he said. “Having assignments to juggle and finding my own story ideas is something I first really had to put to the test in my internship. That has come back to help me.”