Two summer reporters to join IowaWatch

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Journalist at news conference or media event, writing notes, holding microphone during COVID-19 virus pandemic. (iStock photo)

Two reporting interns will spend 10 weeks of their summer with the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism – IowaWatch.

Olivia Allen and Maria Kuiper will focus on specific topics for the summer. Kuiper begins May 24 and Allen follows on June 1.

Maria Kuiper

Kuiper is a 2021 University of Iowa graduate. She studied journalism with a minor in Arabic and a certificate in human rights. Her internship will focus on diversity and social justice issues in Iowa. 

“I’m hoping to write something that will provoke emotion. Whether I give justice to a group of people or anger people in power, I want someone to feel something,” Kuiper said. She also said she hoped to provide transparency on leaders.

Kuiper has completed several internships and worked on the UI Daily Iowan staff.

Allen will spend her summer focused on Iowa’s State Parks, an ongoing series of stories looking at the state’s outdoor recreational system of parks. This work is supported by the Iowa Newspaper Foundation and IowaWatch.

Olivia Allen

Allen will be a senior at Simpson College in the fall. She is pursuing studies in multimedia journalism and political science. Allen has worked in student media organizations and is a member of the Simpson softball team.

“I believe all people, Iowa citizens and otherwise, deserve quality, in-depth journalism in order to preserve democracy and encourage public knowledge. I see this opportunity to develop my skills as a journalist in addition to doing my duty in fostering an informed public,” Allen said.

Executive Director Suzanne Behnke said there were a number of applicants this year.

“After spending much of the pandemic focusing on working with classes of students, it seemed obvious to hire two qualified and energetic candidates for IowaWatch’s summer internship program,” Behnke said.

A number of news outlets halted or suspended internships during the pandemic. Behnke thinks that accounts for the increase of applications for the 2021 position.