Carolyn Agrimis and Max Egener, reporting interns at the Malheur Enterprise for summer 2018. The Enterprise is launching a fund-raising drive to continue the program and expand to three positions.

The Malheur Enterprise needs your help raising $15,000 in tax deductible donations to fund at least two and perhaps three journalism internships at the Enterprise next summer.

At the Enterprise, we believe our country needs well-trained journalists more than ever. That means reporters skilled at gathering information, at finding truth. That means reporters who are ethical at every turn.

In their 10 weeks at the Enterprise, young journalists will strengthen their skills under close coaching and stretch their abilities to meet the high expectations we have. These young journalists will see a news operation functioning to serve the public good while avoiding exhibitions of favoritism or bias.

NPR's "Morning Edition" recently featured the Enterprise and this report gives you a good sense of what kind of journalism is practiced in eastern Oregon.

The independently owned Enterprise is too small to provide these paid internships on its own. You can support this important project with a tax deductible contribution to the Oregon Newspapers Foundation, designated for the Malheur Enterprise. The money will cover salary and costs for these students.

Our summer interns will help the Enterprise delve deeper into critical local issues – farm labor, affordable housing, child poverty and more. They will report on stories to explain what local government is doing, explore the work of nonprofits, and examine who wins and who loses from economic projects. Our two 2018 interns, Max Egener and Carolyn Agrimis, helped the Enterprise report on such vital local matters that otherwise would have gone without attention.

Here's what Egener had to say about why college students should seek an internship in Vale:

"Early career journalists should apply to work for the Malheur Enterprise because quality journalism is getting harder to come by in small, rural communities such as Malheur County. These communities need thoughtful storytelling. They also deserve reporters who are willing to hold people in power accountable for their decisions. The journalists and editors at the Enterprise have a seemingly endless amount to teach as well. If you've never spent time in eastern Oregon, it's also a fascinating place to live."

Donors made it possible for Max and Carolyn to be at the Enterprise.

So, what do you get from helping?

You help college students get real world experience under the guidance of veteran journalists.

You help society gain well-trained journalists who are ethical and dedicated.

You help provide one of the most impoverished counties in Oregon access to more news that matters.

You help support the kind of local journalism we're doing at the Enterprise as an example for others about. Credible, trusted news is in more demand than ever.

As a donor, you will get occasional updates about what the interns are doing.

And, of course, you get that tax deduction.

To help:

* Mail a check out to the Oregon Newspapers Foundation with “Enterprise Intern Fund" on the notation line or in a cover note.

* Mail the check to: Oregon Newspapers Foundation, 4000 Kruse Way Place, Bldg 2, #160, Lake Oswego, OR 97035.

* You can also drop a check at the Malheur Enterprise office in Vale or mail it to me at (PO Box 310 Vale Oregon 97918) and we will forward it to the foundation.

We're doing what we can at the Enterprise to train journalists and bolster rural news coverage. Please join us in that mission with your donation.

Thank you for considering.

Les Zaitz, Editor and Publisher

[email protected]; 541-473-3377; twitter: @leszaitz