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Bainbridge Review welcomes new interns

Review interns Shaun Christean and Emma Loftus. - Bainbridge Island Review photo
Review interns Shaun Christean and Emma Loftus.
— image credit: Bainbridge Island Review photo

Shaun Christean and Emma Loftus have joined the newsroom at the Bainbridge Island Review as summer interns.

Christean first became interested in journalism as a freshman in high school. Joining Bainbridge High School’s newspaper, the Spartan Standard, was an excellent opportunity for Christean to learn and grow as a writer.

Christean has worked as a reporter and editor of the Spartan Standard for the past two years. During that time, she has written stories about sports and literature as well as several personality profiles.

This fall, Christean will continue as the editor of the Opinions section, a position that voices a wide range of concerns shared by fellow students.

“I like reading all of the different ideas and beliefs my peers have about our school and community,” Christean said. “I get to help people express their thoughts on everything from school dress codes to school shootings.”

Christean moved to Bainbridge Island at the age of 12 from neighboring Kingston.

“Working at the Review is an ideal learning experience,” Christean said. “It’s amazing to see the real-world career possibilities for someone interested in writing, and I’m very grateful for such an opportunity.”

Review editor Brian Kelly said he was excited to have Christean’s contribution to the Review’s newsroom.

“Shaun’s can-do attitude has been a real inspiration in the newsroom. Her enthusiasm is very contagious, and we’re struggling just to keep up with her,” Kelly said.

Growing up as the youngest of four siblings, Christean always loved reading and writing. Christean especially enjoys the writings of bell hooks, Robert Massie and Jared Diamond. Many teachers encouraged this passion for storytelling throughout Christean’s academic career. Expanding on an early interest in linguistics and grammar, Christean became especially interested in foreign languages after taking several French classes in middle school.

Christean enjoys baking pastries and cooking the occasional meal for family and friends. She also volunteers regularly at the food bank at Helpline House.

Christean hopes to continue writing through college and beyond, and would ideally pursue a career in journalism, creative writing, editing, or professional translation and interpreting.

Loftus also began her journalistic career as a reporter on the Spartan Standard staff, and got her start during her junior year. Like Christean, she will also be a senior in the coming school year.

“I’m so excited to be a part of the Review,” Loftus said. “I’ve always loved writing and telling people’s stories, so this will be a great opportunity to explore the world of journalism more.”

When she returns to the BHS newspaper this year, Loftus will be taking charge as one of the editors of the Standard.

“The editors for the upcoming year are all very passionate about making the paper great. We want it to be exciting, readable, and maybe a bit more controversial,” she said.

Kelly said it doesn’t get any better for an editor than to have already seasoned journalists coming aboard as interns.

“The staff at the Spartan Standard never ceases to amaze, and we’re so fortunate to have the folks at Bainbridge High share their standout journalists with the local paper. Emma is a wonderful addition to our team, and we’re thrilled to have her help us share the many wonderful stories here on Bainbridge,” Kelly said.

Reading and writing have been a significant part of the young journalist’s life for as long as she can remember. Loftus began reading when she was 3 years old, moving on to chapter books at 4.

At that point, she also insisted on reading the books herself, as opposed to having them read to her — much to her mother’s dismay.

“The first book I can remember really loving was Harry Potter. Once, in second grade, I stayed up all night reading ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,’” she said.

Now, her tastes are more varied, ranging from writers that focus on beautiful, euphonious phrasing like Fitzgerald, to writers such as Orson Scott Card, who creates vivid and dramatic science fiction worlds.

Loftus’s interest in writing began both at home and in school.

“My English teachers have all been very influential in my writing style. I remember Mrs. Polinsky, who teaches sophomore English at the high school, telling me that I write like a poet but that I needed to learn how to keep it precise,” Loftus said. “The honest and insightful advice I’ve received from teachers over the years has helped me look at my writing with a critical eye, and I’m truly grateful for their help.”

Loftus comes from a family of writers. Her father, Geoffrey Loftus, has been the editor of several scientific research journals and co-author of eight books and has been another strongly influential force in her love of words.

She recalled one particularly memorable conversation with him, during which he asked why it was important to have an extensive vocabulary.

“At first, I responded that it was important because it’s an impressive trait to have. But after thinking it through more, I realized that a substantial vocabulary is crucial for the ability to articulate yourself and communicate exactly what you’re trying to say. That’s a skill that can help in all aspects of life,” she said.

While the literary arts are very important to her, Loftus is also passionate about social issues, animal rights and yoga.

“This year, I’m going to be in charge of the gender issues club at the high school. I’d like it to be inclusive and accessible, and hopefully help my fellow students discuss the causes, effects, and reactions to the divisive issues around genders,” Loftus said.

She has been practicing yoga for around three years, both at home and at studios such as the Bainbridge Yoga House. For her, the appeal of yoga comes from the focus on personal improvement, rather than competition, and the advocation for looking inside oneself to find support and self love.

“Yoga is a really beautiful activity,” she said. “At the end of every class practice, we finish by saying namaste, which means that the light in the individual recognizes the light in her fellows. I love how connected it makes me feel to both myself and those around me.”

As interns at the Review, the new reporters will write articles, shadow reporters and learn more about the workings of a print newspaper that’s making its future home online now.

Along with contributing to the Review, the interns will join fellow journalists from the Review and its sister newspapers at seminars and informational sessions on journalism and the changing world of digital communication.

 

 

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