Jack West, an Auburn University sophomore from Huntsville, Alabama, will be working with Ferrin Cox and Linda Hodge at The Elba Clipper this summer. West, a graduate of Madison Academy in Huntsville, is a journalism and history major and is coming to Elba as a Living Democracy Fellow. “I am eager to learn about the role of community newspapers in small-town civic life,” West said. Based on his early interactions with Elba and its Clipper, West said that this seems like a great opportunity to explore small-town-Alabama and its journalism industry. “A bunch of my classmates are getting internships at CNN and NPR, but that means there is a whole side of this industry that is being overlooked,” West said. “Why are these small papers still in business? What are they doing right that others are not?” As a history major, West is also excited to learn about the history of Elba and Coffee County. “Small-town history is just as important as other kinds of history,” West said. “There are stories in the wiregrass that can help us understand who we are as Alabamians.” As editor of The Elba Clipper, Hodge said she and Cox are thrilled to have West working with them this summer. “Jack brings a fresh set of eyes in for us, and he will be able to help us share some stories that we may have been missing,” she said. “Also, it is a great opportunity for us to help him see just how important small town newspapers remain to their communities. The way I see it, it is a win-win collaboration for us all.” West will be in Elba from June 3 to August 12 and will be staying with Justin Maddox. West can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone through 256-361-8602. Living Democracy is a program of Auburn University’s College of Liberal Arts. Students serve as Jean O’Conner Snyder Interns with the David Matthew’s Center for Civic Life, a program jointly administered by the University of Alabama’s New College.