October 7, 2020

The Lead is a weekly newsletter that provides resources and connections for student journalists in both college and high school. Sign up here to have it delivered to your inbox every Wednesday morning.

Dozens of summer internships + resources to make your application stand out

If you’re a student journalist already thinking about where you want to be next summer, seeing “internship applications” in this email’s subject line might have increased your heart rate a little. The internship application process can be competitive and stressful, and it requires you to think so far ahead. Some schools just started fall classes a few weeks ago!

There are ways you can make your application stand out from the pack. But before we get to that part, follow along with me:

Pause for a moment.

Take a deep breath.

Tell yourself, 

“Internships are not the only path to journalism success.

Landing an internship will not make or break my career.

Rejections are not a reflection of me as a person.” 

You might be rolling your eyes, but I really believe all three of those things. Internships are a valuable source of work experience and mentorship, but they’re not the only way to start your career. The skills you have are more important than the publications on your resume; some of the best early-career journalists I know did not have marquee internships at national publications.

Think about the journalism skills you want to hone and try to tailor your next summer to that. This might mean applying for a summer position at your student publication, taking a class during the summer so you can really focus on it, or creating a self-directed project while you work a non-journalism job. 

OK, now that you’ve taken a minute to ground yourself, here’s the actionable part of this newsletter:

The Lead’s internship database is back! Here’s a list of more than 20 newsroom internships around the country for summer 2021. (Stay tuned for more resources from Poynter in the coming weeks.)

Screenshot

Here’s what you should know about the database:

  • Only paid internships are included. Unpaid internships limit access to opportunities to students who can afford to work without pay.
  • Only summer internships are included. If you’re searching for a semester internship, some of the organizations listed also have great opportunities.
  • Only internships with newsrooms and journalism organizations are included — not public relations, marketing or other adjacent areas.
  • Most internships aren’t specifying whether they’ll allow remote work next summer. It’s hard to know what the state of the pandemic will be in nine months, but when you’re interviewing and talking directly with hiring managers, it’s a good question to ask.

Newsrooms and internship coordinators, email me at blatchfordtaylor@gmail.com if your internship fits the guidelines above and I’ll add it to the list.

From The Lead’s archives

Resources to polish your internship or job application:

And if an internship isn’t the best path for you next summer, a few more things to consider:

One story worth reading

Public universities frequently block student athletes from talking to the media, but those policies are illegal, Frank LoMonte writes for Poynter. A research team at the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information gathered rulebooks from Division I athletic departments at public universities, and 86% of those forbade athletes from speaking to journalists without permission from the athletic department. “When athletes’ interactions with the press and public are filtered through university image-minders, wrongdoing will go undetected and multiply,” LoMonte writes.

Opportunities and trainings

💌 Last week’s newsletter: How The Loyola Phoenix covered Black Lives Matter protests and responded to its critics

📣 I want to hear from you. What would you like to see in the newsletter? Have a cool project to share? Email blatchfordtaylor@gmail.com.

Taylor Blatchford is a journalist at The Seattle Times who independently writes The Lead, a newsletter for student journalists. She can be reached at blatchfordtaylor@gmail.com or on Twitter @blatchfordtr.

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