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Internships

Media Internships Don’t Lead to Jobs. So What?

help-wantedWe all know internships are the best way to get a job in media, right? Er, not so much, according to this interactive chart via LinkedIn.

The research doesn’t even delve into the issues of paying interns or what, if anything, you can get from working in digital media. If you scroll down and click through the Media/Entertainment category you’ll see that:

  • In Sports, Publishing, and Media Production, there are lots of internships available (as any job board search will show) but very few actually turn into full time positions.
  • If you want to get into broadcast as a journalist, you’re in even worse luck: few opportunities, and of those, you have almost no chance of getting a job.

For communications and journalism majors starting school this season, that can be discouraging. But it’s also the nature of the industry. Scrolling over Financial Services, you might be wont to change majors. But big accounting firms, for example, recruit their interns and breed them into full time employees. It’s sort of like being in the military, you pass one test, or grueling six month program, and move up the ranks.

In news and publishing, it’s a little harder. Some solutions:

  1. If you don’t land an internship at a large media company — which is also hard to do if you’re enrolled in a school anywhere but New York, stay local or small. There’s nothing wrong with working for the little guys, except that they are most definitely not paying you. You’ll probably get to do more hands on work anyway, and make contacts that actually have time to email you back when you reach out post-graduation.
  2. Go niche. Are you really into sports? Marijuana legislation? Climate change? There are lots of great publishers making their name by being experts in one little thing. Seek them out and beg. And make sure you’re web presence and writing is easily found.
  3. I know there’s the catch-22 of often needing an internship to graduate or for credit, in which case, too bad for you. But if I could go back to school right now, I’d be blogging like nobody’s business. Write. Find your beat. Interact and engage with other writers on social media and in their comments. Then you’ll have more than just a semester of cutting video clips and fiddling with a publisher’s social media accounts: you’ll have some experience.

What are your internship woes? Let us know in the comments or @10,000Words.

Mediabistro Course

Travel Writing

Travel WritingStarting September 23, learn how to turn your travel stories into published essays and articles! Taught by a former Vanity Fair staff writer, James Sturz will teach you how to report, interview, and find sources, discover story ideas and pitch them successfully, and understand what travel editors look for in a story. Register now!

Come to Our Media Intern Party in New York!

intern-party_304

Calling all media interns! Come network with other interns to swap stories, make new connections and get advice on finding your next job! The party will be held next Tuesday, August 12, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Turtle Bay in New York. Your hosts for the evening will be Mediabistro’s managing editor Valerie Berrios and senior education manager Sandra Reitman.

We’ll have drink specials, complimentary appetizers and a chance to win a free Mediabistro course!

You can register for the party here. We hope to see you there!

MediaShift Launches EducationShift to Move Journalism Education Forward

PBS MediaShift recently announced the launch of EducationShift, a revamped site to help bolster journalism education.

edshift post picSupported by both the Knight Foundation and the Scripps College of Communication, the re-tooled Education Shift site will feature increased coverage of classroom innovation as journalism and communications schools around the world wrestle with unprecedented technological changes. Read more

Still Making Summer Plans? Deadline Nears For Google’s Journalism Fellowship

It’s the time of year when young journalists start hearing back about their internship applications or perhaps getting worried if they haven’t heard back yet.

googleIf you haven’t already received and accepted an offer and made your summer plans, you still have some time to apply for one of the coolest opportunities available this summer: the Google Journalism Fellowship. But not much time — the deadline is this week.

This isn’t your typical summer internship, though. It’s something more immersive, more data-centric and, honestly, sounds more fun. They’re looking for journalism students who have already demonstrated proficiency and interest in digital projects and technologies, but the desired skills and interests are pretty reasonable for j-school students these days. Here’s how they describe the gig:

The program is aimed at undergraduate, graduate and journalism students interested in using technology to tell stories in new and dynamic ways. The Fellows will get the opportunity to spend the summer contributing to a variety of organizations — from those that are steeped in investigative journalism to those working for press freedom around the world and to those that are helping the industry figure out its future in the digital age. There will be a focus on data driven journalism, online free expression and rethinking the business of journalism.

And they will pay the fellows $8,000 (plus a travel stipend) for 10 weeks, from June through August, to work at one of these journalism organizations:

  • Center for Investigative Reporting
  • Committee to Protect Journalists
  • Investigative Reporters & Editors
  • Nieman Journalism Lab
  • Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project
  • Poynter
  • PRI.org
  • ProPublica
  • Sunlight Foundation
  • Texas Tribune

This application is due Friday, January 31… So, um, why are you wasting time?! Apply here.

Was Condé Nast Right to Nix Their Internships?

Conde-Nast“Everything I learned about journalism I learned in J-school,” said no one ever.

Where I learned best was in my internships — the good, bad, ugly, paid, unpaid, unpaid (but for school credit!), East Coast, Congress Avenue, random roommate-living, sleeping-on-couches type of internships that many of us have done.

Operating under that assumption, I’m still scratching my head as to why Condé Nast decided to can their highly-sought after internship positions altogether.

Think about it: publication interns start out doing the basics — fact checking, research, maybe writing some blurbs and perhaps some reporting. I was fortunate enough to learn how to edit B-roll, become dangerous with HTML and write good Web headlines throughout three internships. Interns tread lightly. These are things that you need to know how to do exceptionally well the second you step into an interview for a media company (unless you came from a stellar college paper newsroom where you really got your feet wet).

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