Some personal news, as they say: The Lead is taking the summer off.
I’ve written a lot about burnout and mental health this past year, and I need to take the advice I’ve shared with you all. I’m hoping to use the time I’d normally spend on the newsletter to make the most of Washington state’s natural beauty, bake lots of pies and think about how to best serve student journalists when the fall semester starts. This newsletter won’t be published in June and July, but we’ll be back in your inbox and on poynter.org in August.
These resources will help you make the most of your summer, and you can always refer back to the 111 newsletter issues in The Lead’s archive. And my inbox is always open to your questions and ideas at email@example.com.
Getting ready for a summer internship?
- If your internship is remote, you can still find mentorship in the newsroom — it just might take extra initiative. Here are some tips.
- 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.
Making plans for a summer without an internship?
- Sharpen your skills with trainings from Poynter. A few specifically designed for students: fact-checking, public records and Title IX. To combine many practical skills and get ready for newsroom jobs, take the Newsroom Readiness Certificate.
- Update your online portfolio or resume with the work you’re most proud of.
- Register for a summer journalism conference, many of which are cheaper because they’re virtual this year. Remember to look for student rates and scholarship opportunities.
- Explore freelancing. Here’s advice from the 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.
- Take time for yourself this summer. Samantha Ragland and Anne Helen Petersen both shared advice this semester on addressing burnout after an unprecedented news year.
Planning for your student publication’s future?
- Think creatively about how to structure campus coverage over the summer.
- Consider your newsroom’s financial stability for the coming year. The Daily Orange’s membership model is one idea to explore.
- Work with staff members to take stock of morale and mental health, and make sure everyone can start the upcoming year with the resources they need. Here’s how The Daily Trojan created a wellness initiative.
- Audit the diversity of your staff and content and figure out how to set concrete goals for the coming year.
- Work with incoming editors to coordinate training for new staff in the fall. These topics will get you started.
One story worth reading
Last week The Associated Press fired Emily Wilder, a 22-year-old news associate, saying she violated its social media policies. Wilder says management didn’t tell her what policies she violated. In a statement on Twitter, she said “The compassion that drove my activism is part of what led me to be a reporter committed to just, critical, fact-based coverage of under-told stories.” (Wilder had advocated for Palestinian human rights while studying at Stanford University; the Stanford College Republicans targeted her in a Twitter thread that quickly gained attention from right-wing media.)
The issue has brought to light the murky reinforcement of newsroom social media and conflict-of-interest policies, which are often weaponized against women and journalists of color. The same week Wilder was fired, Chris Cuomo was revealed to have advised his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, on handling sexual harassment allegations. He has faced no public recriminations from CNN for his actions.
The two aren’t parallel, but they’re different situations with strikingly different results. “The whiplash between ‘Did I accidentally do something to ruin my career in journalism before I was even a journalist’ and ‘will this powerful man who has worked in the industry for decades be disciplined for a glaring ethical lapse’ is truly jarring,” investigative reporter Joshua Eaton tweeted.
What does all this mean for student journalists? Sarah Jones writes in New York Magazine:
“People don’t always enter college knowing they want to be journalists. Indeed, perhaps they shouldn’t. Any definition of objectivity that requires a journalist to pretend neutrality asks that person to lie. Journalists are not automatons. They have opinions, and if they are not male or white or rich or straight, those opinions make them vulnerable to the right-wing outrages that just cost Wilder her new job.”
Opportunities and trainings
- Poynter’s internship database lists paid newsroom internships at publications around the country.
- This public list of journalism conferences tracks what’s coming up, with helpful links and registration deadlines.
- College students, apply for MediaWise’s Campus Correspondents program by May 31.
- Apply for press freedom awards from the Student Press Law Center by June 1.
- Enter the student categories of ONA’s Online Journalism Awards by June 10.
- Register for the first-ever student conference from NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, to be held remotely June 25-26.
- Apply for the Ian Parry photojournalism scholarship by July 9.
- College students and recent graduates, apply for NPR’s Next Generation Radio Project, a weeklong audio journalism training program (currently held remotely).
💌 Last week’s newsletter: Remote internships make the journalism industry more accessible
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