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How Necessary is a Journalism Internship?

by | Jun 1, 2021 | Internships

Long story short, journalism internships are very important for any aspiring journalist. There is no substitute for the hands-on experience that is gained during an internship. 

What Does a Journalism Internship Program Look Like?

Front page of a newspaper that reads "Vapaa Sana"
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For most internships, journalism students will not be fetching coffee and following others around. Usually, it entails researching for stories, doing interviews, preparing notes, and assisting colleagues. 

The journalism internship experience will have students writing, photo-taking, fact-checking, copy editing, and more. 

For specific tasks, it depends on the type of journalism internship. An editorial intern will do more editing of others’ works before publication. A public relations intern will be working on press releases. While communications interns and marketing interns will use more of their communication skills. This includes working with social media and digital media, graphic design, and some writing. 

On average, a journalism intern makes $16.30 per hour. That is if the position is a paid internship. There are many internship opportunities for different types of internships such as part-time, unpaid, and for credit. 

The internship experience is important for college students because of the real-life feedback from professionals. This allows for growth and work experience on the key skills for a full-time journalism career.

How Do You Find a Journalism Internship?

Three newspaper stands covered in snow.
Photo by Matt Popovich on Unsplash

The field of journalism is a dynamic, diverse, but competitive industry. 

Journalism internships can be general. But, there are a few different types if you are looking for specific work experience. The types are online and print magazines, radio, broadcast, online, or print newspapers. Otherwise, other non-media companies will hire specific interns to do journalism. 

To find journalism internships, it is a good idea to start on your university career center, career sites, and LinkedIn. Scholars also has a featured companies section where you can view reputable internship programs. If a company interests you, you can listen to someone from the company speak about it on The Internship Show.

Elements of a Good Journalism Resume and Cover Letter

  • Pursuing or graduated with a degree in journalism, communications, or English
  • Experience navigating the media industry
  • Previous experience in published writing, or freelance work.
  • Computer proficiency
  • Grasp on finding, researching, and presenting data.
  • Ability to meet tight deadlines.
  • Thinking on your feet during interviews and while writing.
  • Fact-checking
  • ​Pitching stories in a newsroom.
  • Knowledge or use of AP Style
  • SEO Optimization preferred if the internship requires digital news to be published.

To gain a better idea of what a journalism internship wants to see on a resume, read through the job description. Adapt the resume to be tailored to their wants and your experience. 

What Skills are Developed While Being a Journalism Intern?

A close up of newspaper with the section "Classified"
Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

While an intern should come in with skills previously learned, there is much to learn in the internship role. 

While completing a journalism internship, the intern will develop their skills in a variety of areas. An intern will gain experience conducting interviews, meeting deadlines, editing other professionals writing, following codes of ethical code of journalism, and building relationships with sources. The main point that will be developed is an intern’s media portfolio that stands out against peers. 

5 Ways a Journalism Internship Can Benefit the Student

Photo by David Travis on Unsplash

1. Understand the industry insights.

2. Confirm or deny if journalism is right for you.

3. Build up a stronger and competitive resume.

4. Mentorship from a professional journalist.

5. A possible full-time employment opportunity.

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Want early access to insights, content, and news about your dream employer? Join our community! We send one email per week so we won't clutter your inbox.

Congrats! You've taken the step to gain early access to information about your dream employers.

The Report Card: January 2021

Download this month's employer branding report to keep your company up to date.

Enjoy the news!

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