Journalism students: if you’re looking for an internship or fellowship, consider yourself on deadline.
We’ve reached the end of journalism internship application season. As Poynter explains, this is make-or-break time for early-career journalists:
The most critical period in journalism school is the three-month window stretching from September to November informally known as internship application season. Getting professional experience and making s through an internship can mean the difference between landing a job or being unemployed after commencement.
The website recently compiled a list of journalism internships at some of the biggest publications. Many opportunities had October 31 application deadlines, but don’t let the spooky date get you down. There are still plenty of internships and fellowships to apply for through the fall and winter.
Start with Poynter’s list of 80 internships and fellowships
There are many high-quality journalism internships and fellowships to consider past “internship season,” and Poynter has a list of 80 for you to consider. Here are just a few examples illustrating the variety of possibilities:
Time Inc. Summer Internship Program
Deadline: Feb. 26
Location: New York City
Pay: Paid — rate unspecified
Description: “As a Time Inc. intern, you’ll be placed in a team based on your background, strengths and skills and you’ll be mentored by some of the best in your fields and in our industry. Come prepared to meet and greet editors and publishers, learn new career and technical skills, network at professional and social events and participate in an intern shark-tank style challenge with our executives.”
Los Angeles Times
Deadline: Nov. 15, Dec. 1, April 1
Location: Los Angeles, California and Washington, D.C.
Pay: $700 per week
Description: “Interested in working with some of the best journalists around? We offer 10 weeks of intensive, hands-on experience in a region where big stories are the norm. We place interns throughout the L.A. Times for our summer program: Metro/Local, Sacramento, Sports, Business, Features (Home, Image, Travel, Food, Mind & Body), Arts & Entertainment, Editorial Pages, Washington, D.C., bureau, Photography/Video, Data Desk, Visualization and Data, Design and latimes.com. The deadline for the Reporting and Visual Journalism applications is Nov. 15; Website and Visualization & Data is Dec. 1; and Data Desk and Design are April 1.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Deadline: Jan. 4
Location: Washington, D.C.
Pay: $625 weekly stipend
Description: “You’d be a full-time reporter in our newsroom, in Washington, D.C. Simple as that.”
In other words: you could have a traditional magazine internship, an audio/digital media internship, or a specialty publication internship — and those are just three of the 80 potential options.
Poynter’s list includes internships for people interested in journalism, social media, photography and more. Take a look and begin planning your application strategy.
Make your application competitive
To get one of these coveted journalism internships or fellowships, you’ll need a competitive application. If you’re a J-school student, it’s time to reach out to your academic advisors to give you advice on your cover letter and resume and help you create the best application package possible. Former editors are also great resources — they can give you cover letter tips and serve as references.
It’s also a good time to activate your network of peers. Do you know anyone who landed a journalism internship in the past year or so? Ask them to look over your application package.
Connect with working journalists — this is where an alumni association comes in handy — and ask if they have time to do an informational interview and discuss journalism internship application strategies.
Poynter also has some advice, courtesy of The Columbus Dispatch editor Ben Marrison:
“Do a lot of work. We’re looking for people with a body of work, not just a handful of stories or photos. We’re looking for somebody who can show us they will hit the ground running,” Marrison said.
The applicant’s portfolio needs to be “legitimate, thick,” Marrison added. “It should show creativity, curiosity, passion, commitment; a strong work ethic.”
Can you hit the ground running? Start by sending off those internship and fellowship applications. Then see how far your internship — and your work ethic — can take you.
Are you applying for a journalism internship this year? If you’ve had journalism internships before, do you have advice for people going through the application process?