Westerberg to be legislative reporter in Pierre for SDNA

Brittany Westerberg will be one of two reporters from the South Dakota News Association covering the activities of the 2009 legislative session.

The Community News Service branch of the South Dakota News Association covers highlights and specialized district coverage during the legislative session in Pierre. The session begins January 13 and ends March 13, with veto day falling on March 30.

The reporting team of Westerberg and Joe Sneve of Dell Rapids will be supervised by CNS coordinator Tara Okeson.

Westerberg is a senior journalism major at South Dakota State University and is a Philip High School graduate. She has worked as an editor for the SDSU Collegian and written for the Philip Pioneer Review, Wall Pennington County Courant and the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

The team will supply news briefs on legislative events and activities of local lawmakers. They will write a collection of stories on major statewide issues, create a summary of bills brought by local lawmakers and take photos of lawmakers and Capitol events.

"I'm really looking forward to my internship in Pierre," said Westerberg. "I'll be speaking with state legislators, lobbyists, the governor and other state officials in order to write about what's happening during the state Legislative session. I know it's going to be different from other things I have done, with closer deadlines and lots of things to learn, but I think it's going to be fun."

"I haven't met the other intern. One intern will cover the House and the other will cover the Senate, though I'm not sure which of us will be doing what yet. There are less names to memorize in the Senate, but I've heard it described as 'the Senate is an orchestra and the House is a rock concert' so I don't know which would be better. Regardless, I think I'll have fun," said Westerberg.

"Last summer, I was an intern with the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls. During the school years, I have been working with The Collegian, the student-run newspaper on campus. Last year I was the managing editor, but this year I stepped back and became the opinion page editor so I could concentrate a little bit more on my last year of schooling," said Westerberg.

Newspapers across South Dakota participating in the CNS program help fund internships for future journalists who gain professional experience during their time in Pierre.