Readers of the Bolivar Herald-Free Press have likely noticed a new — but perhaps familiar — byline this week.
On the final day of May, the paper’s newsroom welcomed Bolivar native and Mizzou journalism major Shelby Henderson as intern reporter.
A 2018 Bolivar High School graduate, Henderson’s byline first appeared in the BH-FP three years ago when she won the newspaper’s “It Can Wait” op-ed contest — before going on to win the statewide high school competition. Through an internship partially funded by a Missouri Press Foundation scholarship, she is slated to spend the summer covering events in the community and telling the stories of her fellow Polk Countians.
The daughter of Steve and Lori Henderson, she says her family has “a great love” for Bolivar and returning home to work for her “hometown paper” is meaningful.
“I grew up reading the Herald-Free Press, and I always got excited when I or someone I knew made it in,” she says. “Now, I get to be a part of creating the same paper that always excited me as a kid, which is an awesome experience."
And overall, she says, she sees her summer post as a double-opportunity.
“I get to learn more about my hometown and more about my field of study,” she says.
Henderson’s duties will entail covering local events, government meetings, breaking news and feature topics, among other tasks. She says her goals while at the BH-FP include doing “my best at telling Polk County's stories.”
So far, she says, she is enjoying the role.
“My dad asked me how the job was going after my first day,” she says. “I told him how I was having a great time and how cool it was to be working at the paper. He told me how lucky I am that I get to do something I'm interested in, in a place that I love. He is so right. I get to do something that I enjoy in my own home, and for that I am so grateful.”
Intern reporter Shelby Henderson may be reached at 777-9727 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.