Right at Home: My Experience as a Virtual Intern for Good News Pilipinas

Virtual Intern Good News Pilipinas
Summer Sanares of De La Salle University-Manila is a certified VIP@GNP

This year, I pursued my internship at Good News Pilipinas to cap off my time as a political science undergraduate at De La Salle University-Manila. Writing for the Philippine Daily Inquirer and my own school publication, The LaSallian, I have always had an affinity for journalism — and I have appreciated the ways in which it intersects with political science, another passion of mine.

Coming into the internship, I knew that pursuing journalism as my required OJT was a bit of a bold choice; while most of my classmates were working in government offices, I was taking on coverages and writing news stories. I also had a different background than the typical interns at GNP, as I did not have formal training in communications.

Despite that, I was relieved that the GNP team welcomed me with open arms. I ended up writing over 40 articles tackling the heart of governance all around the country — whether that be volunteers at the grassroots instigating change or the progressive policies transforming the lives of Filipinos. Though my topics sometimes diverged from the usual content GNP publishes, GNP was very willing to accommodate my interests and encouraged me to find my own voice through my articles.

My favorite memory at the internship would be when veteran journalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa read my article about her. Back in July, I covered Ressa’s inclusion in the roster of professors at Columbia University, where she will be teaching students about the role of technology in democracy. When one of my bosses shared it, Ressa herself commented on it! I couldn’t believe my eyes that one of my role models in journalism had seen my work.

READ Summer’s article From newsroom to classroom: Filipino journalist Maria Ressa becomes a professor at Columbia University

I will never forget how much the GNP team uplifted me throughout my stay at the company. At GNP, I felt empowered to become a better writer through the guidance of my bosses. They always affirmed me for my hard work even when I doubted myself — and when I made mistakes, they would gently lead me to the right path. Even though I am only a neophyte in journalism, GNP made me feel like I was truly making a difference.

My culminating project for GNP was a series about Good Governance initiatives in the Philippines. With the help of the GNP team, we were able to conceptualize four in-depth articles all aligned to the world events that month. It felt like the perfect way to finish my internship as I was constantly writing about promising political improvements in the country. This time, I took it a step further by making a month-long social media campaign and interviewing more people who were involved in the initiatives.

READ about Summer’s Project Introducing ‘Good Governance’: Celebrate the Best of Filipino Leadership with GoodNewsPilipinas

Creating the series was a challenge in its own right, but I felt so fulfilled when my articles began rolling out. Learning about good governance in school is one thing, but being able to see its tangible outcomes on the ground is another. I got to talk to individuals who had been positively impacted by different projects, even down to the micro level like a barangay.

READ Inside the Freedom of Information Bill: See How This Legislation is Leading the Charge on Good Governance

A lot of people are pessimistic about the state of governance in the Philippines, but writing that series gave me hope for the future.
Now that I have completed the GNP internship, I would never trade it for any other OJT program. Unique as my internship was, it provided me with a real sense of what empowered governance looks like — opening my eyes to what’s really out there. Tied with the encouraging mentorship of the GNP team, I felt right at home. Thank you for everything, Good News Pilipinas!

Do you want to be part of our VIP (Virtual Internship People) here at GNP (Good News Pilipinas)? 

Good News Pilipinas is a Lasallian Scholarum Awardee. Engage with us, share your experiences, and be a part of the positive community shaping the Philippines today and tomorrow. For more information and stories that fill us with pride or to share your good news story tips, message us on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram, or e-mail editor@goodnewspilipinas.com

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Summer is a political science student with a twin passion for journalism. Her hobbies include watching geography documentaries, searching the metro for plant-based food, and free-falling through Wikipedia rabbit holes. Her works have previously been featured in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.