So this post is going out to all those who are looking for journalism internships for next summer. A bunch of deadlines are actually November 1! Now might be a bit too late to start applying to these internships, as it’s always best to give recommenders around 1.5 to 3 weeks (some people say 3-5 weeks) to write a letter.
Required reading: This fabulous “10 Steps Young Journalists Can Take to Get an Internship” list penned by the lovely Marissa Evans immediately.
So, here’s a list of paid (some are stipend, some give decent salaries, one also provides housing) summer internship opportunities I know to be solid experiences – whether that be from my personal experience, or from the experiences of friends:
(Your job: Find out whether or not these dates are when applications should be postmarked vs. received):
- Chronicle of Higher Education (October 4 – also have fall and spring internships)
- Chips Quinn Scholars Program (October 15 – this amazing program offers you training, mentoring, paid internships and cash awards in the spring/summer)
- Dallas Morning News (Oct. 25)
- The New York Times (Oct 31)
- Dow Jones News Fund (November 1)
- Pulliam Fellowship (November 1 – internships at Arizona Republic and Indianapolis Star)
- Boston Globe (November 1)
- Wall Street Journal (November 1)
- Newsday (November 1)
- Washington Post (November 1)
- Seattle Times (November 15)
- Oregonian (November 15)
- Detroit News (November 15)
- Atlanta-Journal Constitution (November 1)
- Tampa Bay Times (Nov. 1)
- Austin American Statesmen (November 1) – also offers housing!
- NPR (Winter/Spring: November 15, Summer: February 15, Fall: July 12)
- Bloomberg (US locations by November 15, other locations have different dates)
- Reuters (Americas – October 1 – December 1, Europe – February 1 – March 31, Asia – February 1 – March)
- Star Tribune (December 1)
- Kaiser Health Media Internships (applications typically due by Dec. 1, website not yet updated)
- Orange County Register (Spring 2014: Dec. 1, 2013, Summer 2014: Dec. 15, 2013, Fall 2014: June 1, 2014)
- Politico (Dec. 3 last year)
- Los Angeles Times (January 1)
- Associated Press (applications due last year by Jan. 15, website not yet updated)
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (March 20, according to last year’s posting)
- CNN (Some are paid, others not. Varying dates for lots of different programs)
- Digital First Media (Unclear)
- Kansas City Star (Unclear, usually by December)
- Propublica (Depends)
- * USA Today (So they’re unpaid, but you get a travel stipend, and I’ve had friends who’ve had really good experiences interning for USA Today, so they get to make the list. They have deadlines year-round, so keep checking it)
Tips on landing these kind of internships:
- Get a first internship! For quick tips on landing a first internship, check out this post!
- Start early, and look at their internship descriptions. See what they’re looking for.
- Look on Twitter/Linkedin/Google for journalists who previously interned at these papers, and see what kind of experience they had before getting the internships.
- Reach out to your networks. Join a professional journalism organization based on your interests and cultural backgrounds – they often have internship opportunities, stipends, trainings and annual conferences that allow you to both attend great sessions and meet internship recruiters face-to-face.
- A quick run-down of journalism associations off the top of my head: Journalism and Women Symposium, Online News Association, Investigative Reporters and Editors, NICAR, South Asian Journalist Association, Native American Journalists Association, National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists, Radio/Television Broadcasters Association, the Asian American Journalist Association, the Education Writers Association, the American Copy Editors Association, the Society of Environmental Journalists, etc etc.
- Better yet, look through your college alumni network, and see if you can contact anyone at a paper for which you’d like to intern.
- Find out who the recruiters are. Find out their names, their contact info. Pick up the phone, or jot down a polite email. Ask them questions. You are, after all, a journalist.
- In your cover letter, say who you spoke with at the news outlet. It makes a huge difference – particularly if you can say you talked to the internship supervisor her/himself.
- Apply to lots of places, and have back-ups!
- BE ON TIME! Better yet, be early. And no typos or grammatical errors. Think of this as your first assignment.
- Clips are the most important. Your articles, multimedia packages, photos, etc. show what you can do and offer a news organization. For news journos, make sure you: 1) send in a variety of clips, 2) pay attention to how many clips you’re asking for, 3) don’t send in anything that your editor basically re-wrote, and 4) think carefully about sending in double or triple bylines. Did you unveil massive corruption at a state Medicaid agency as part of an investigative team? Definitely send in that clip. Did you write a 100 word story about a cat up in a tree with two other reporters? Think it over.
- Market what you already have, and be unique. Are you bilingual? Do you have experience reporting on underserved communities? Did you backpack through China and write about a broken-down theme park? What’s your story? Make the unique aspects of yourself shine through your cover letter and resume – employers don’t want to hire automatons with no life besides journalism.
- Focus on what you can contribute to the news organization. Yeah, obviously a “big-name” paper will “look good” on your resume. But just.. don’t say that! Focus on what you can contribute to the news outlet – do they need to better engage their readers through social media? Are they not covering college hockey enough? Figure out what the gaps are and what your skills/passions are, and go from there.
- Have journalism leadership experience. Are you an editor at your campus newspaper? Did you found an alt weekly? Do you teach data journalism to high school students on the weekend? You don’t have to be editor-in-chief – just try your hardest to get some experience leading others in a journalistic capacity. It’s a great way to demonstrate your passion, and also to boost your self-editing skillz.
- Not satisfied with your clip collection from a previous internship or your campus newspaper? Freelance, string, and do online internships, my friends. Does your college have an alumni magazine, and you have a burning desire to write about that really cool kid in your theater class who is also a professional race car driver? Do it. Is there a big newspaper nearby looking for students on your campus who can contribute interviews and color (i.e. string) to articles when breaking news happen? Did PBS Newshour randomly tweet looking for an intern who could work 5 hours a week producing and promoting a popular Google Hangout? Make your own opportunities, and try out new things!
- Follow your heart, and follow great stories. It doesn’t matter where you intern, it matters what kind of stories you told, and how well you told them – and shared them.
- For more structure, USA Today has a great collegiate correspondent program, which allows you to virtually send in articles, have them edited, and get them published online.
- Two really great journalism opportunities I’ve participated in, and that you should look into: The New York Times Student Journalism Institute and the Chips Quinn Scholars Program.
Other good websites to check out:
Cub Reporters is good, but it hasn’t been updated in awhile. Use it to see past internship descriptions, etc.
NYU has a great and frequently updated list on jobs and both paid/unpaid internship positions.
Berkeley has a really informative list as well, though very California heavy.
UCONN’s page has journalism internships from reporting to broadcast, and also includes links to professional organizations.
Here’s a June 2012 spreadsheet about data journalism and graphics internships.
MSU prof and former Detroit Free Press recruiter Joe Grimm has a wonderful blog (last updated in 2012) with a treasure trove of advice for aspiring journos.
Speaking of Grimm, he also pens more frequent posts to the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, which is also a great resource for news about the industry and sometimes internship opportunities. Related: check out the Pew Research Center.
Are you interested in global opportunities? Places offering funding for global journalism opportunities include the Pulitzer Prize Center on Crisis Reporting, the Overseas Press Club, Fulbright, the World Press Institute,
For broadcast/TV/radio/some print opportunities, check out Media Biz Jobs.
Interested in Copy-editing? Check out Copyediting, which also offers monthly audio conferences and job/internship opportunities. Also look at the American Copy Editors Society, which is focused on journalism.
Love business journalism? Again, apply for the Dow Jones Fund internships above, but also check out the American Society of Business Publication Editors.
Also, just begin to love Jim Romenesko. Get on his email list for really interesting, insider-y updates on the journalism industry.
If you have anything to add, Ask me questions below, or feel free to email me!