By Rev. Dori Hjalmarson
The Dow Jones News Fund (DJNF) internship for me was the capstone on a rich liberal arts education, a journalism degree from the University of Missouri. Even though I have changed careers, critical thinking, empathetic listening, and storytelling are still major parts of not only my work but my way of being in the world. The DJNF internship was an important step in my formation as a journalist and as a citizen.
I worked for nine years at the same newspaper where I was assigned as a DJNF copy editing intern. In those nine years, I worked as a copy editor, wire editor, assistant metro editor and bureau reporter. I learned the value of local storytelling and accountability reporting. I learned the value of a free and independent press. I am sad that in the past 10 years, that newspaper has shrunk, cut its staff, and quit printing daily. My heart goes out to my former colleagues who remain, working hard to continue telling their community’s stories.
I now live in a country that does not enjoy those same freedoms. Nearly all media in Honduras is highly partisan, and opposition voices are regularly subject to threats and violence. It is important to me that organizations like DJNF continue to educate young journalists, thinkers, and citizens.
That’s why I give back.
Dori Hjalmarson is a facilitator for theological education and leadership development for the Presbyterian Church of Honduras. She is pictured above in Copán Ruinas, Honduras.