Above: Delaney Hiegert (center) poses with Wichita Eagle columnist and The Vantage advisor Denise Neil (left), and Wichita Eagle columnist and Newman alumnus Matt Riedl (right).
Delaney Hiegert, Newman senior and editor of the Newman University student newspaper The Vantage, is filling her summer days by doing what she loves — writing.
The Topeka, Kan. native is currently working at her third newspaper internship. The first, a short unpaid internship for the Wichita Eagle, took place during December 2015. Her second was for the Topeka Capital-Journal during the summer of 2016.
By the time Hiegert was offered her most recent internship, once again at the Wichita Eagle, she already had a pretty good idea of how things worked on a day-to-day basis at the newspaper.
"I freelanced on and off since the [2016 winter] break until spring of 2017," said Hiegert. "I did some writing for their features section and some events going on around town. That helped me stay in touch with some of the editors."
Hiegert's typical 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. workday includes writing about a wide array of topics, including features, local news and breaking news. She said the variety is helping her learn what styles of writing she enjoys best.
Hiegert said, "I just covered a story on the Air Capital Classic [...] and I have a lot of experience writing human interest stories."
Although she enjoys getting to know people and telling their stories, she has found that covering breaking news is quickly rising to the top of her list.
She talked about a recent Amber Alert that shook the Wichita community after three children went missing following a house fire.
"I was covering night cops that Friday," recalled Hiegert, "when that house fire happened, so I wrote a couple stories on that and was covering while it was happening. That was the most intense story I’ve covered in my career so far."
Hiegert said she enjoyed covering the story as it was breaking.
"I went down to Riverfest [to cover events], but had the scanner app on my phone," she said. "That call came in so I went back to the newsroom and went out to the hotel where the cops were staking out where they thought the guy was with the kids. We videoed the cops briefing and wrote the story in the parking lot."
As for her learning experience, Hiegert said staff and management are great at giving feedback, and she is learning how to write stories that garner a higher readership.
Hiegert said she is also excited about her portfolio growing because of her experience this summer.
"I’m really glad they do a lot of videos. All of the reporters, for the most part, shoot video. I’ve been doing more of that — I shot some footage during the Amber Alert story. Journalism is so visually driven, that’s definitely going to help me out later, to have that element in my portfolio."
Hiegert said following her 10-week internship, she looks forward to starting her senior year at Newman. She is a communication major with two minors — journalism and criminal justice — and will soon decide whether she will be pursuing law school or a career in journalism.