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Summer is finally here, which means a new generation of enthusiastic interns is joining the newsroom. As a student, I interned at two news organizations, and both have been invaluable to my career as a journalist.

We are pleased to welcome the following people to the Times-Dispatch:

Photography Intern Akash Pamarthy

As a graduate of George Washington University, he wants to expand his portfolio in the field of sports photography.

“Experiencing life in its purest form and all the wonderful people I meet and photograph on my journey is why I love my job,” he told me.


Richmond Times-Dispatch summer interns Akash Pamarthy (from left), Jane Montalto and Leah Shepard pose for a photo outside the newsroom on Tuesday.


Pamarthy said, “The Times-Dispatch is a great place to work, with a wonderfully supportive staff and great guidance from my colleagues. I’m glad to be here and to learn.”

Cross-platform editing intern, Jane Montalto

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She graduated from Stony Brook University on Long Island and was editor-in-chief of the campus cultural magazine The Stony Brook Press.

“Journalism is really important, especially today. I’ve always been fascinated by stories and I love that journalism provides the opportunity to tell the stories of the community we live in,” she said.

News Reporting Intern Leah Shepard

As a student at Kent State University in Ohio, she primarily tells the stories of community members.

“I believe compassion and humanity should be at the heart of the journalistic craft. When the police and government don’t listen to people, a journalist does. I want to tell stories that need to be heard,” she said.

We also recently hired two new members of the news team:

  • Jackson Didlake is a Virginia Tech graduate and content creator for J&D Productions, a YouTube channel with over 110,000 subscribers. He is our newest sports reporter.

And our new food and drink reporter is Meredith LindemonShe has written for Southern Living, Virginia Living and Philadelphia magazines, among others. She will cover the region’s bustling restaurant scene and Chelsea Jacksonwho was promoted from part-time to full-time reporter in the arts and culture department.

You are all doing some truly incredible work already. Welcome aboard.

Exceptional journalism from RTD staff

I would also like to thank several Times-Dispatch staff members for their exceptional journalistic work over the past few weeks.

Chris Coates is editor in chief of The Times-Dispatch and senior director of local news for Lee Enterprises. He can be reached at [email protected].