October 17, 2021

I’m into looking for signs from the universe.

A monarch butterfly flutters past. (“I should call my mom.”)

The coffee cup slips from my hands into the sink. (“I must need more coffee.”)

I stumble my way through a presentation? (“I must need more coffee.”)

Apparently I’m usually just looking for excuses to drink more coffee. But you get the idea.

It was easy, therefore, to think about what to submit for your consideration this week, as not two, not three, but five different, varied student opportunities presented themselves to me very recently. I know there are many, many more, but I wanted to highlight the ones that are new to me. I might even start a database or repository of these opportunities, programs, internships, fellowships and all-around good ideas to live on Poynter’s website.

Perhaps you have a spark of an idea for a collaboration or a partnership at your school, and this list could inspire you to push that through.

Or maybe you just have an outstanding student to whom you want to give every opportunity. Regardless, I hope this list gets your gears turning about what you could do to elevate your place in journalism education. And please — by all means — if you know of a similar opportunity/organization/entity that you think belongs on this list, will you email me a link?

Thanks in advance for helping me grow this list. I hope it helps spark some creativity.

Georgia News Lab

The Georgia News Lab is a statewide investigative reporting and training

collaborative that employs Georgia college journalism students and works in partnership with Georgia Public Broadcasting and other major news outlets.

Its mission: “To train a diverse new generation of investigative journalists and prepare them for professional careers.”

The nonprofit organization was founded in 2014 and stresses diversity in its ranks.

Students in the program work side by side with professional journalists at partner organizations to learn advanced reporting techniques, preparing them for careers in watchdog journalism. Students and media partners work on a variety of projects over the course of one year. Their investigative stories have won awards and changed public policy. Read more here.

Facebook HBCU Summer News Fellowship

The pilot for this program was born in the lead-up to the 2020 elections. Students were recruited into four newsrooms (Axios, BuzzFeed News, PBS Newshour and The Washington Post) for 10 weeks to work on audience engagement initiatives and provide fresh perspectives. The program evolved into a summer internship for 2021, in which 25 HBCU students and recent graduates were placed into partner newsrooms for eight weeks.

The program caters to students who want to pursue careers in journalism, media, marketing, social media, or video production.

Here is the original application page. Applications for the next cohort will be announced soon here.


This offshoot of The Nation was founded in 2007 to establish a space for young writers to speak for themselves and share their perspectives. More than 100 pieces of student content are published each year, including first-person narratives about campus campaigns, local student reporting, and coverage of legislative issues that impact students and young people.

Read examples here, and send StudentNation pitches to pitches@thenationfund.org.

The Nation also offers internships and a daylong student journalism conference in New York City, with all expenses for participants covered by The Nation Fund for Independent Journalism, a “nonprofit educational initiative that works to expand opportunities for diverse voices and perspectives and educate early-career journalists in order to strengthen independent media.”

Politico Journalism Institute

The 10-day Politico Journalism Institute is a residential program for undergraduate and graduate students interested in covering politics and policy. At least 12 students will be admitted to the summer program (set for May 31-June 10, 2022), now in its eighth year of training emerging journalists.

Participants stay at American University in Washington, D.C., and commute daily to Politico headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Politico covers all costs, including meals and travel to and from the event.

Programming includes classroom and newsroom work, as well as panels with industry leaders, mentorships with Politico journalists and potential Politico bylines. It is offered in partnership with the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and American University. Applicants who are rising juniors or seniors at accredited four-year colleges or universities are given preference. Members of affinity journalism associations are encouraged to apply. Apply here by Nov. 30.

CalMatters College Journalism Network

Launched in spring 2020, this collaboration between CalMatters and journalism students at California state universities seeks to report on the 3 million students, hundreds of campuses and the $36 billion budget that makes up California’s state schools.

The network sees students collaborate on reporting projects, pitch stories to CalMatters and their media partners, and get trained.

All positions are paid. Their goal: “To broaden and deepen CalMatters’ higher education coverage, while mentoring a diverse new generation of journalists.”

The first class was six fellows, but a series of regular Zoom training sessions were open to all California student journalists across the state.

Read more about the program here, and read student work here.

Poynter’s Campus Correspondents program

OK, I swear, this is a last-minute add, as we just got approval and the application just went up! Tell your students to come work directly with me as a MediaWise Campus Correspondent, and join our team of trained fact-checkers who Zoom into classrooms to teach their peers how to spot mis- and disinformation online in sophisticated new ways.

Students get paid a generous $300 per training session (though they’ll also spend some time promoting on social and building out custom decks).

We are looking to add a few more students for 2022. Our ideal candidates will be highly reliable, motivated public speakers with a knack for social media and a passion around misinformation. (Yes, this means we’ll also be offering training slots for 2022 in the very near future — and this group will be the first to know!)

Read more here, and encourage your students to apply at this link.

College headlines

Great journalism to share with your students

Diverse headlines

One valuable way that you can reinforce diversity, equity and inclusion in your classroom is by sharing journalism about, by and for diverse communities — not just stories that are predominantly by and about cisgender white people. Consider ways in which you could use these stories in your curriculum. Here are a few examples I saw this week. I also include headlines about DEI news and issues.

Internship Database

This week, we’re featuring Bloomberg, which wants students to “Break news, gain clips, earn money. Our interns gain hands-on experience reporting for one of the largest newsrooms in Washington, D.C. During our 10-week program, you’ll file stories both short and long under deadline each day from the halls of Congress and around D.C. and cover important developments that impact our audience of key professionals and decision makers.”

Learn more here, and be sure to check out our full list on Poynter’s Internship Database.

The Lead

This week, we showcased PolitiFact managing editor Katie Sanders, who taught us not only how to bake fact-checking into our reporting, but offered tips from pro fact-checkers on how to make stories bulletproof.

Subscribe to The Lead, Poynter’s weekly newsletter for student journalists, and encourage your students to do the same.

Poynter news

A quick internet search pulled up nearly 1,000 full-time open positions with “fact-checking” in the job description. As the threat of misinformation continues to loom over society, the number of employers seeking applicants with concrete skills to identify and debunk false claims will explode. If you teach accountability in journalism or want to learn from the masters of the craft, consider subscribing to PolitiFact’s newsletter. This Pulitzer Prize-winning arm of Poynter offers a quick summary of their journalists’ most newsworthy, nonpartisan fact-checks of the week’s top stories. Plus, the team shares thought-provoking stories and analyses of evidence and facts, including the popular “Pants on Fire” fact check of the week. Sign up to get facts delivered to your inbox every Thursday.

This week’s Professor’s Press Pass

In this week’s Professor’s Press Pass, two student journalists watched a football practice, reported on it — and then all hell broke loose. Were the students right to report on what they saw? Did the university overreach in turn? Subscribe for full access to our growing library of current journalism event case studies.

One last thing

Further proof that the students are always smarter — and funnier — than us.

Resources for Journalists

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.
Barbara Allen is the director of college programming for Poynter. Prior to that, she served as managing editor of Poynter.org. She spent two decades in…
Barbara Allen

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