By Matthew Ackerman
“I feel like there’s always a perennial story about bees.” Ask Lynn Yen about her
experiences in reporting and what budding journalists might encounter in their first assignments on the job, and she’ll tell you a little about what she has coined as “The Bee Story.” Yen, 23, is a recent graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and resident of Brooking, South Dakota. She has just completed degrees in both Journalism and Economics, and most recently an internship at the World Herald in her birth city of Omaha, Nebraska. At the local paper, Yen worked in the money section and was assigned a large profile story on bees. But her bee story is not a tale about what made it to print on the job, but more accurately about what didn’t- a story about the story in other words.
Yen recalls that “bees” were such a broad subject area to research for her news team. She and her fellow reporters were struggling to find a concise angle to crack at the project. It was one of those stories that had her and the Herald’s staff “dragging [their] feet” for a long time as Yen recalls her former editor said at one point. Yen adds, “I was constantly talking to people about bees,” and after a while without any sources coming through for anyone on the team, Yen learned one of the most valuable lessons in journalism. When you have a deadline coming up, an issue due for print, and nothing bites in time: move on to something else with full force. And that’s what Yen did. And because of that, “The Bee Story” is not something she is afraid to share with others. It was important for her development as a reporter as it kept her on her feet and always on the move. The story just goes to show how driven and tireless she is.
Despite any obstacles or challenges in her way, Yen keeps rising to the occasion in different ways. Take Colorado’s Bolder Boulder race, a 10k that she is going to run on May 29th for example. That’s happening the morning after she finishes as week of training at the Dow Jones News Fund Residency. And that’s the day before she starts her summer internship with Denver’s BusinessDen, a local business journal founded in 2015. It’s the first time she will be running a race of that length. And she is determined to get through it with every stride she can muster, even if her past few races did not “go so well” as she describes. It does not matter though, because for Yen, every challenge is seen as an opportunity. That’s precisely what she looks forward to in her first post-grad summer- one she’ll be spending at one of Denver’s most recently founded papers with a small staff and lots of room for growth. So it’s a residency, a race, and a summer of business reporting for Yen. And even though she is crossing her fingers and hoping bees do not make an appearance in her future assignments, Lynn Yen certainly has carried one quality of the insect with her since her last internship: unwavering energy. Some might say more than the entire hive combined.