Meet Lydia Coutré, one of SPLC’s spring interns

I’m absolutely thrilled to be starting an internship with the Student Press Law Center. I graduated from Kent State University’s journalism program in December 2013. For more than six years, I’ve worked for various student media outlets as a reporter and editor. Most recently, I was editor-in-chief of the Daily Kent Stater. Students newsrooms have played a major role in my journalism training, and I’m excited to write about the issues that high school and college media are facing today.

Previously, I worked as a multimedia intern at The Grand Haven Tribune, a city desk intern and statehouse fellow at The Columbus Dispatch and a metro reporting intern at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis.

While at The Columbus Dispatch, I completed a three-part enterprise reporting project about the region’s and nation’s food-safety systems and how they affect Ohioans. By sorting through public records and parts of the health department’s database, I was able to find area restaurants’ main critical violations and to trace national food-borne illness outbreaks to Columbus plates.

I am passionate about press freedom, transparency and free speech. The First Amendment is the foundation for everything I do as a journalist, so working alongside SPLC staff is a huge honor. In my free time, I like to knit, bike and explore. Feel free to contact me with story tips (or D.C. advice) at, @lydiacoutre or (703) 807-1904 ext. 126.