The Hermiston Herald and East Oregonian will have an extra pair of hands helping out in the newsroom this summer with intern Nada Sewidan.

Sewidan comes to the Hermiston newsroom through the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism, which pairs student journalists from universities in Oregon with local newspapers.

She graduated this spring from Portland State University with a master’s of fine arts degree in creative writing and nonfiction, and hopes to launch a career in journalism.

“I find the work that journalists do really important, as an avenue to discuss community issues, for community engagement and truth,” she said.

Sewidan grew up in Alexandria, Egypt, before moving to California, and then to Portland for her studies at PSU.

“From my experience in Egypt, not everyone has freedom of the press, and so that’s something I value,” she said.

After starting the internship on June 1, she said she has already learned a lot about how newsrooms operate outside of a student newspaper setting. She said students tend to have easier access to sources for their stories, through professors and other university staff, so it will be a challenge learning to develop sources while reporting in a wider community.

Sewidan described herself as a shy person, but said she feels that is a strength as a reporter, because being soft spoken can help build trust with people.

“It’s important that people trust me as a reporter, that I’m here to do what’s best for the community,” she said.

Sewidan wrote her first story for the Hermiston Herald about storm damage throughout the region, and will report on miscellaneous topics in Umatilla and Morrow counties throughout the summer.

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