How journalists can get the most out of their internships

New York Times intern Tim Rohan made some headlines of his own last month when, in the first week of his internship, he covered the Mets’ first no-hitter in their 51-season history.

In this week’s career chat, we caught up with Rohan, who talked about how he’s taken advantage of opportunities during his internship. He and I also offered related tips about how journalists can get the most out of internships. Chat participants chimed in with their own good questions.

You can replay the chat here:

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  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    Oh, I remember those days, too. I think when I started, the target period was less than five years, but it’s possible I simply disregarded the advice.

    We were also (mis)led to believe that the early pay might be terrible, but if we just stuck with it, there would be financial rewards later. At one time, that might have been true, but I doubt it is now.

  • Ryan L. Williams

    I vaguely remember hearing that working an entry level job for five years was the stepping stone. Now it’s a six month unpaid internship. The lesson is really clear to recent graduates who are trying to start out – no one will ever pay you enough to take journalism seriously.

  • Ryan L. Williams

    I vaguely remember hearing that working an entry level job for five years was the stepping stone. Now it’s a six month unpaid internship. The lesson is really clear to recent graduates who are trying to start out – no one will ever pay you enough to take journalism seriously.

  • http://profiles.google.com/wenalway Robert Knilands

    “The internships are stepping stones, and none of those three were paid. … I was lucky enough to be able to afford not being paid.”

    And there you have it — the heart of the major problem, stated in just a few words. As long as people keep running forward with glee to work for free, this will never be a serious, credible, professional industry. Only the people who can afford to do that will get the opportunities, and that means something other than quality is driving the machine.