I won’t bury the lead (ha): This is the last newsletter issue until August, because The Lead is taking the summer off.
I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic lately about how far The Lead has come. I launched the newsletter in fall 2018, and now it’s May 2022. If the Lead had begun as a freshman in college and followed a four-year trajectory to a degree, by now it would be graduating and going out into the world to figure out what’s next.
No matter how long you’ve been reading this newsletter, I hope it’s helped you find your way through a journalism industry that’s had plenty of twists and turns the past few years. During this summer break, The Lead’s archive is always available for reference (with more than 140 issues dating back to 2018). The fine folks at Poynter will continue publishing media news all summer, too.
Thanks for coming along for this school year. Hearing from students, professors and advisers continues to be the most rewarding part of running The Lead. I might not respond as quickly, but you can still reach me at email@example.com.
— Taylor Blatchford
Getting ready for a summer internship?
- Think about what you want to learn this summer and what kind of mentorship you’re looking for. Here’s how to approach a potential mentor with intention and respect.
- Brush up on personal finance with these tips on navigating your first job offer, budgeting and more.
- Read through advice from eight early career sports journalists (that applies far beyond sports).
- Set yourself up for success by talking with your manager early on about concrete goals for your summer.
- Make sure to check in midway through the summer, revisit those goals and get feedback.
Planning for your student publication’s future?
- Create or update your newsroom’s ethics handbook. Here’s how to get started.
- Work with incoming editors to set them up for success as managers, even when it means managing their friends.
- Consider how you could better incorporate visuals into your newsroom’s workflow and story pitches.
- Take stock of your staff members’ mental health and make a plan for helping everyone find balance in the upcoming year.
- Dig into analytics and develop a business strategy for the upcoming year. This means thinking critically about where your readers are.
- Wanting to focus more on digital publishing and move away from a print-focused workflow? Here’s how one newsroom did it.
- Make a plan for better integrating sports and news in the upcoming year.
- Audit the diversity of your staff and content and figure out how to set concrete goals for the coming year.
Making plans for a summer without an internship?
- Learn new skills through practice. Here’s how the Northwestern News Network trains new reporters on video journalism. Here are resources for getting started in audience engagement.
- Seek out training opportunities and workshops. Here are some that focus on photo and video journalism. Poynter also has trainings specifically designed for students, including fact-checking, public records and Title IX. To combine many practical skills and get ready for newsroom jobs, take the Newsroom Readiness Certificate.
- Register for a summer journalism conference, many of which are still offering virtual options. Remember to look for student rates and scholarship opportunities.
- Explore freelancing. Here’s advice from the former managing editor of Study Hall XYZ.
- If you’ve graduated and are on the full-time job hunt, here’s a list of places to look.
Many stories worth reading
I’m writing this a few hours after the Pulitzer Prizes were announced — just an abundance of powerful storytelling and stunning journalism. Here’s the full list of winners and finalists, and Poynter has extensive coverage of the stories behind the winning entries.
Opportunities and trainings
- College students and recent graduates, apply for the NABJ-Apple News Fellowship by May 13.
- High school students, enter The New York Times’ student podcast contest by May 18.
- Register for a free public records training from the National Press Club Journalism Institute on May 20.
- Enter your best work in ONA’s Online Journalism Awards by June 9.
- College students, apply for The New York Times Corps, a new talent pipeline program for students from underrepresented groups, by June 15.
- Apply to attend the free FIRE Student Network Summer Conference by July 1.
💌 Last week’s newsletter: How student newsrooms can document — not exploit — a community with a photo story
📣 I want to hear from you. What would you like to see in the newsletter? Have a cool project to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.