Johnson City Press readers, meet our newest addition to the newsroom, spring and summer intern Jonathan Roberts.

A third-year East Tennessee State University student, Roberts, 21, first stepped into journalism in high school when an injury prompted him to move from playing sports to covering them. Working for the student newspaper, The East Tennesseean, Roberts began to write more and more news. Now, he does double duty writing both.

Growing up in Miami and the surrounding area, Roberts experienced many different cultures. He’s also lived in California, Massachusetts and, of course, here in East Tennessee. He’s also passionate about his Puerto Rican heritage, which is a big part of his life.

Roberts in short:

Favorite dessertFried green tea ice cream
Instagram, Twitter or FacebookI use Instagram and Twitter the most.
One thing you never leave the house withoutA watch.
Ultimate travel destinationSpain.
Favorite book

The Shining by Stephen King. The movie is not nearly as good as the book. And literally anything by Ernest Hemingway.


1. What are you looking forward to during your internship here?

I like telling peoples’ stories when it comes to this kind of thing in terms of journalism and things like that. I know when I’m writing for The East Tennessean, I always seek out stories that are not talked about as much and trying to push those up to the forefront more so because they might not get the same amount of coverage. ... So, that’s my major thing is working with the community and telling those kinds of stories.

2. What do you do when you’re not in school or in the office?

Sleeping. I sleep a lot. I read. I listen to a lot of music ... Latin music and reggae music. And rap, too, but those other two are my primaries.

3. What does a perfect Saturday look like to you?

Sleeping until, like 4 (p.m.) Probably going out and getting food somewhere, Maybe playing some video games or something like that, hanging out at the house. My Saturdays are usually really lazy. And then if there’s racing, then racing always. I’m a huge motorsports fan.

4. What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Coffee. If I smell coffee that’ll get me out of bed pretty quickly. I usually grind my own coffee and make it that way. It’s a lot more relaxing. A little hipster, but whatever. It’s fine. That, or prior obligations. I can’t exactly be sleeping through classes and things like that. A lot of times I’ll just wake up as early as possible and then I’ll meditate in the mornings, read, drink some coffee and just kinda have that time to relax before rather than jumping straight into the day and being behind everything to start.

5. What are you passionate about?

Aside from writing? I love playing sports. I’m not as good at it anymore. I definitely wasn’t going to go pro at any point, but I like to go to the park sometimes and play basketball. Reading is another thing I just love to read. I’m interested in politics a lot … racing, too.

Look out for Roberts’ articles in upcoming editions of the Johnson City Press and online at Follow him on Twitter at @jonrxxiii