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Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by CradleRobber, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. CradleRobber

    CradleRobber Active Member

    Tell me about your first one.

    When is a good time for the first one? How important are they, and in what ways are they important (as far as helping you get a better job after graduation, not so much as "experience beyond the classroom and school rag" (basically assuming extensive experience at multiple major dailies))?
  2. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I haven't been on an internship at a newspaper, but my take on the issue is that an intern's experience can depend on the kind of experience the shop provides.

    Someone from my state's press association jokingly asked me if I send interns to fetch coffee for me. My joking response was "if I want coffee, I'll get it myself." The serious point behind both the question and my response was that I don't just give crap assignments to interns.

    I've sometimes had my best interns on what amounts to my paper's biggest stories. Of course, I've also had "interns" who have like four years experience at a daily and they're coming back to school, but I digress...

    An editor can either be very helpful to an intern or can be somewhat of a hindrance. I try to be as helpful as I can be to my interns because I want to see them do well at their first full-time journalism jobs after graduation, and on down the line.

    I would say a good time for your first one (beyond just getting clips at a local newspaper) would be after your junior year if you don't write for your school rag. I'd say after your sophomore year if you've written for your school paper for two years. Of course, a good prof or a good editor can get the light to go off in a young reporter earlier than that.
  3. Breakyoself

    Breakyoself Member

    i got one my junior year in college after working for one of the campus newspapers. Near the end of the fall, I walked into the office of the local daily and asked who i needed to talk to about an internship. she got me in touch with the ME, who had me come in the next day. I went to meeting, showed my clips to her and talked, then met SE and talked to him. Next week I called and asked if there was anything else I needed to do, and was told "bring me your schedule in January and we'll work out a schedule for you." It was that easy. Just take the step, and do it early enough so that you can have a lot of clips and experience for when you send out your resumes, which should not be done two weeks before graduation.
  4. CradleRobber

    CradleRobber Active Member

    Referring back to my original question, if a kid started writing at a weekly when he was 12, was writing features and gamers at a 25K daily by age 16 and stringing for 200K dailies by the time he started college while continuing significant writing at smaller dailies, does an internship necessarily become less important?
  5. Breakyoself

    Breakyoself Member

    perhaps, but i think anytime you can get experiences at different places, why not? You may learn something more at an internship than just stringing and handing in a story. Maybe learn more about page design, or some photography. you can always learn stuff.
  6. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    In this environment, where the path to the elite jobs/papers that everyone's angling for, it is impossible to overstate their importance.

    Do as many as you can, starting with your sophomore year. The more you do, the more people you'll be exposed to and the broader your network becomes. In this day and age, this is how you move up in the business. Not just talent.

    The young writers who aren't relegated to starting in Snake's Navel covering community sports 20 hours a week, working desk 20 hours a week and doing preps 20 hours a week (with no OT, of course) are the writers who did as many internships as they could.
  7. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    I didn't have an internship because I got into it way too late during college, and I can attest that it makes starting out a lot more difficult.

    I worked at my school's paper (which is a fairly successful daily that covers a major college) for about a year and a half before graduating. My first job, after monts of searching, was as the one-man sports guy at a 4K weekly. I have worked my way out of that dump and to a reputable paper with a some good stuff to cover, but not having an internship was definitely the hardest part to cover on my resume.
  8. CradleRobber

    CradleRobber Active Member

    Anyone who has already posted or is reading this thread anonymously, please PM me. I need some related advice but can't divulge certain details here.
  9. Cansportschick

    Cansportschick Active Member

    Well, after next year, I am going back to school to finish my journalism degree (it will be my third degree).
    I have internships lined up at ABC News and CTV when I do return.
  10. CradleRobber

    CradleRobber Active Member

    I appreciate all the replies and PMs already received. Anyone who reads this and had a few minutes to give some serious journalism advice to a young'n, please PM me still.
  11. DGRollins

    DGRollins Member

    Ten minutes after arriving at one of my internships I was at a practice of the biggest team in town as they prepared for a playoff series. I had been assigned an article that was intended for the first page. Not S1, A1.

    At the end of that internship the ME took me out for lunch. During the meal he told me that he sent me out to do that story by design. "If you screwed it up, we had something else ready to go," he said. "But, you didn't. So we knew that we could treat you like any other staff member."

    And they did, much to my appreciation and benefit. That's the way it should be, I think.
  12. RossLT

    RossLT Guest

    Never did an internship, just worked for my college paper whihc was twice a week. I busted my ass at the paper and had the SID's helping me out looking for jobs. After three months of looking got a gig at a 18000 circ paper and have been there for a year.
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