Mei Craig ’22 (right) and Isabel Costa ’21 (left) spent the summer reporting on the Berkshires with the Greylock Glass, covering everything from local businesses to performing arts to agriculture.
Both students were able to choose story assignments that interested them, and were responsible for finding their own story leads. Craig found herself writing features on small businesses in the Berkshires, including a new herbal/tea shop, Wild Soul River, that recently opened in Williamstown, and even got to chronicle a flying lesson she took with Berkshire Aviation Enterprises in Great Barrington. Costa covered local businesses as they recovered from pandemic closures and reviewed theatre productions from Barrington Stage Co. and Berkshire Theatre Group.
They also worked together on a major piece about challenges faced by local farmers, visiting family farms and conducting interviews across the county. “Usually one other member of the family farm has to work another part time job to meet ends meet,” Craig said. “Some of the farmers that I interviewed had always had a passion for farming and agriculture, while other farmers wanted to continue the family business. We also did extensive research on succession plans, farm revenues and how COVID-19 had impacted business.”
“All the family farms I talked to had very different stories, and they welcomed me into their farm, and their lives, with open arms,” said Costa. “Most farmers in New England work multiple jobs, and their hours can get long and intense which takes them away from their first main love, which is farming.”
A big takeaway I learned while writing this story was that when Covid-19 broke out, more people started to realize the importance of locally grown food,” said Craig, “which meant that business increased for these farmers and that they weren't financially struggling during the pandemic.”
Though their internships were done remotely, Craig and Costa were able to get a deep dive into local journalism. “I am interested in media in general—I think what this internship taught me was what exactly I want to do in terms of media production,” said Costa, an English and communications major with a concentration in print journalism. “I have a growing interest in podcasting. I want to expand on my interest in that in the future as well as work for print publications.”
“I definitely would like to continue exploring the journalism world and hopefully move about the news industry,” said Craig, an English and communications major with concentrations in journalism and literature. “I've been fortunate enough to write for both print and online newspapers, as well as anchor and report on live television. My hope for the future is to keep advancing my reporting skills and grow as a writer and explore different types journalism to see which journalistic field I feel most comfortable with.”
“I’m very proud of them both,” said Greylock Glass Editor Jason Velazquez. “Despite the fact that we have never met in person, I feel like I’ll be losing some of The Greylock Glass family to what I know will be very bright futures.”
See stories by Costa and Craig at www.thegreylockglass.com.