Student finds career path working with PBS Student Reporting Labs

Freshman J-School student Meri DeMarois spent this past summer reporting on illegal fish dumping in Montana and now her work has appeared on the PBS News Hour.

The story, “Stop illegal fish dumping in Montana before it’s too late,” published Nov. 27, features a video and podcast produced by DeMarois and her Montana PBS mentor Anna Rau.

DeMarois started working with Montana PBS through the PBS Student Reporting Labs program as a junior at Sentinel High School and was offered a paid internship last summer.

The Reporting Labs program connects middle and high school students to local PBS stations and news professionals in their community to produce original, student-generated video reports, according to the program website.

“It's unreal the kind of things I've already been able to do with the help of the reporting labs,” DeMarois said. “They have been really great at not only thoroughly educating me, but also helping me figure out what I want to do with my life through these very real journalistic experiences.”

DeMarois said working with her mentor, Anna Rau of Montana PBS, was an incredible learning experience.

“She has become one of the biggest role models in my life,” DeMarois said. “She has taught me so much about life and about journalism, and I can't thank her enough for the belief she has had in me.”

Reporting the story on illegal fish dumping took all summer, but DeMarois said she wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“With the Ebola outbreak, the transfer of diseases and other organisms, one of which being fish species especially in Montana, it became an issue I felt was important to explore within my own environment,” she said. 

DeMarois said she would highly recommend working with the PBS Student Reporting Labs, adding that it’s given her opportunities beyond what she expected.

“I've really enjoyed making these pieces and being able to talk with people about important issues, and because of that I've been able to begin putting my name on the map because of the things that have come with that,” she said.

- posted on 12/04/14 -