When it comes to listening to music, our intern Madison, calls herself a “fiend.” She even has a ukulele and likes to sing along while playing!

Last but not least, we give you our final deep-dive Q & A with our third summer intern, Madison Dong!

Where do you go to school? Year in school?

I’m a sophomore at Northwestern University, majoring in journalism and computer science.

Describe yourself in three words.

Honest, emotional, loving.

Why did you get into journalism?

I love people, and I love writing. So, I figured that journalism was the way to combine those two.

Most interesting story you have covered to date?

Evanston has a board game cafe (Evanston Games & Cafe). And I would frequently walk past it but never went inside. So, I once did a video story for class about the place. It turned out to be such a great community and a home for lots of people to play games and make new friends.

Why do you think audio storytelling is an important form of journalism?

Whenever I hear an audio story, what strikes me most is hearing people…breathe? By that, I mean: When you hear an audio clip of someone talking, you can hear every pause in their delivery, every time they have difficulty getting the words out or whenever they speak more quickly due to excitement. Audio storytelling captures that raw emotion so often missed. And it’s also incredibly accessible and portable.

What led you to Happenstance?

The Northwestern journalism career fair — I saw Happenstance’s description and thought it was super cool because it used audio journalism in an innovative way.

What are some of your hobbies?

I like to write poetry, lift weights, sing with my ukulele and eat. I’m also a fiend for listening to music and walking around to find new places in the city.

What do you love about Chicago?

Chicago has problems, but most people seem to care. You can ask someone what they think and they’ll either have an answer or an interesting way to say they don’t.

Favorite Chicago spot and why?

North Avenue Beach at night. It’s crazy. The lights are super bright, the water is so cold, the skyline is right behind you, the lake is just one big blob of black.

What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

I’m on a lifelong quest to find the best spaghetti and meatballs. If a place serves spaghetti and meatballs, I feel very inclined to order it. You know…for the sake of this mission.

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