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Kopke newest reporter at The Press Times

By Lea Kopke
Staff Writer

Hi Press Times readers,

My name is Lea Kopke, and I’m the newest face at The Press Times.

I spent a few months here last year as a news intern and have returned again for the summer, this time as a staff writer.

Lea Kopke

My position is funded by the Microsoft Journalism Initiative Fund, a project which allows our newsroom to take on more in-depth coverage of important issues in Northeast Wisconsin.

I’m excited to have the opportunity to work on a project of this caliber before I’ve even earned my undergraduate degree.

Speaking of which: Yes, I’m still a student.

This fall I begin my senior year at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where I’m studying journalism and German.

I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer.

As a kid, I had notebooks full of unfinished chapter books and haphazardly constructed poems.

As a sophomore at Bay Port High School, I took my first journalism class on a whim, thinking it would be an easy A.

Instead, I was drawn into the world of journalism.

I was excited at the prospect of affecting change in the world by giving a voice to people’s untold stories and acting as a “watchdog.”

So, I got to work.

I became a senior editor of the student newspaper, Portside, and applied to study journalism at UW-Eau Claire.

Before my first college semester had even begun, I started writing for the student newspaper, The Spectator.

There, I worked my way through the ranks and ended up spending this last year as the paper’s managing editor.

This fall, I will be the news director of Blugold Radio Sunday and a freelance writer for The Spectator, where I will focus on in-depth reporting (using, of course, the skills I’ll gain this summer).

I’m thrilled to be back again reporting in my hometown because it allows me to give back to the community that raised me.

I’m also excited to grow as a journalist by learning from my talented coworkers and taking on assignments outside my usual comfort zone.

Thank you to The Press Times for agreeing to take on an intern last summer, even amid a global pandemic, and for bringing me back another year.

Readers, feel free to reach out with story ideas or even just a hello.

My email is [email protected] and I can be found on Twitter at @Lea_Grace_11.

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