Katrina Crumbacher
Katrina Crumbacher recently graduated from Rose State College. While there, she served as the editor in chief of the campus newspaper, The 15th Street News. (Provided)

When I was 6 years old, I had my heart set on becoming either an archeologist or a meteorologist, or maybe even both. The thought of digging up ancient artifacts and watching the skies for the next big storm completely fascinated me.

Never in a million years did I think I would ultimately be pursuing journalism as a career path.

That is why I am so excited to be a reporting intern for NonDoc Media this summer, where one of my main focuses will be on covering important elections in sovereign tribal nations. Oklahoma is not Oklahoma without the tribes, so I can’t wait to learn more about these important democratically elected governments.

Perhaps it’s an innate curiosity or merely an adventurous spirit, but I have always wanted to be close to the action. I was about 14 or 15 years old when I realized where serious decision-making happened: Washington or, more locally, the Oklahoma State Capitol.

I paged for the Oklahoma State Senate during my junior and senior years of high school, and I loved it. I had a budding interest in politics and government at the time, and that experience in those marbled halls only cemented that interest. Like Aaron Burr, I just wanted to be in the room where it happens.

How it started

My journey to journalism started much like any other — in the wrong degree field. My aunt is a chemist, and I wanted to follow in her footsteps by attending her alma mater, the University of Oklahoma, and majoring in chemical engineering.

But that all changed when I visited the OU Daily student newspaper for the first time. I just didn’t know it yet.

I was there to interview for a copy editing position. I happened upon the job posting while walking down the South Oval and decided to apply on a whim, nothing more. A few days later, my phone rang, and there I was, a chemical engineering major being asked if I would like to interview for a job at the campus newspaper.

I had seen the OU Daily’s newspapers on campus. I had even picked up a few copies here and there. I remember thinking just how cool it would be to tell people that I worked at a newspaper.

In December 2021, I enrolled at Rose State College to pursue a mass communication degree wholeheartedly. Nine months later, I joined the staff of The 15th Street News, the campus publication. It was a wonderful experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Now, I get a front row seat to the action. Monotony always has been the bane of my existence, and that is one of the reasons I love journalism. As journalists, we encounter something new every day. No day is ever like the next, and that wonderful, beautiful, organized chaos continually draws me in.

I get to watch history unfold before my very eyes, and I don’t have to sift through relics or chase storms to do it, at least not in the literal sense. Doing research is just an occupational hazard for a journalist. Do I sometimes scour the internet for 50-year-old data? Why yes, yes I do. Do I enjoy it? Absolutely. And while I may not chase tornadoes, I do chase important stories.

Being a reporting intern for NonDoc this summer is sure to be memorable. I can’t wait for all this experience has in store, and I hope to make the most of it. Journalism found me, and I am just along for the ride.

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(Editor’s note: NonDoc’s paid summer internship program is supported financially by the Inasmuch Foundation Community Fellowship, which funds internships each year in a variety of sectors, including Oklahoma journalism.)