Thursday, October 24, 2013

Unpaid Internship? No thank you.

If you want me to post your internship, it had better be paid. Otherwise, I won't promote it. I also won't recommend any students work for your company. Period.

Why? Simple. The more I research unpaid internships, the more I discover they offer little value to the student. In the cases where they do, the student was typically worked to the bone doing the job of a full-time employee -- sometimes more than one -- for no compensation other than "experience." I call that slave labor. It's unethical. It's immoral. And in most cases, it's illegal. A court ruling over the summer may end them once and for all. But it will take time.

In the meantime, I continually hear from my own students and students who follow my Twitter feed that their unpaid internships were brutal, exhausting, and frequently offered little supervision or training. One student who worked in an unpaid internship this past summer told me he wrote eight stories a week for the newspaper. He never once received feedback from the editor. He had to drive his own car to assignments without reimbursement for gas. And he was expected to pay for parking for the privilege of college credit -- for which he was also paying -- with nothing else in return. Yes, he says he got a ton of clips, but he also worked 45 hours a week. And when his internship ended, the small-town paper (which I won't name, but probably should, because the editor their won't call me back to confirm this) then advertised for a full-time paid reporter to replace him. In essence, the paper used him as free labor over the summer to fill an open position, and when his 10-week internship ended, they filled the void. They should have paid him. I told him to sue. He wants to forget about it.

More and more of these stories are cropping up in the news. And most of the time, it's because corporate greed outweighs doing the right thing.

I've decided I can no longer morally support unpaid internships. And I won't. Students, I'm sorry, but if you want one, you will have to find them through another source.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Internship, The Newspapers of Iowa County

Summer 2013 Journalism Internship
The Newspapers of Iowa County

Are you looking for that perfect first professional opportunity in newspapers? Do you enjoy meeting people with a wide range of personalities and learning about what goes on in your community? Are you adept at summarizing information and conveying it in a clear and concise way? If so, the NEWSpapers of Iowa County – publishers of the Pioneer-Republican of Iowa County, Marengo; and Williamsburg Journal Tribune – is looking for just such a person to serve as a summer intern.

We are looking for the right candidate who can assist the editorial staff with covering meetings, writing features and helping out wherever else needed. The ideal candidate is from Iowa (preferably Iowa, Johnson, Linn or Poweshiek counties), in college (at least finishing his/ her sophomore year) and working toward a degree in journalism, mass communications or a related field; and is looking for that first big step into the world of mass media.

The hours will vary, but should not exceed 10 hours per week. Here’s what we’re looking for:

  • Someone who can cover a meeting at least once or twice a month, and an occasional feature. Some stories will be assigned, but the best candidates will be able to offer ideas of their own. You may also be asked to assist with breaking news as needed. 
  • Photography skills are a plus but not required. Depending on your skills, we’ll have you assist with coverage at weekend events in our coverage area along with the Iowa County Fair. 

Candidates are asked to send a resume and 3-5 clips to NEWSpapers of Iowa County, Attn: Brian Rathjen, P.O. Box 208, Marengo, Iowa 52301, or email to No phone calls, please.

The Pioneer-Republican and Williamsburg Journal Tribune – along with our sister newspapers the Star Press-Union, Belle Plaine; and Poweshiek Chronicle-Republican, Grinnell – are owned by the Des Moines Register and Tribune Co., a division of Gannett Co. (the owners of the USA Today, the Iowa City Press-Citizen and many other newspapers nationwide).

Education Reporter, The Ames Tribune

Education/News Reporter
The Ames (Iowa) Tribune 

The Ames Tribune has a full-time opening for an experienced education and/or news reporter to cover Iowa State University and higher education in general. The position includes some general assignment as well.

You’ll join a small, hard-working, award-winning newsroom dedicated to creating compelling content and serving our readers. You’ll report and write short- and long-form stories for digital and print media; produce clean copy and usable photos, video and sound on tight digital and print deadlines; develop a beat, cultivate sources and be first to report news and issues in higher education in our coverage area; understand and explain budgets, contracts and other complex documents; follow legislation, court cases, issues and trends affecting post-secondary education; and understand and use social media and real-time reporting to enhance our news report and relationship with readers.

The successful candidate will have a bachelor’s degree in journalism and at least two years experience as a reporter in a fast-paced news environment. You’ll know your way around common content management systems, basic photography, audio and video equipment and editing software, and social media.

Recent graduates with college news experience and an internship or two will be considered. Send a letter of interest, resume, up to five work samples and three work references we can contact to Tribune city editor Michael Crumb at Please, no phone calls.

The Ames Tribune is part of Stephens Media Iowa, a subsidiary of Stephens Media, and an equal opportunity employer. We offer a full range of benefits, including health, dental and vision insurance, paid time off, and a 401(k) plan. A satisfactory driving record and pre-employment drug screening are required.

Community Editor/Reporter, Southeast Iowa

Community Editor/Reporter
Inland Media Company
Southeast Iowa

We are searching for newsroom professionals with strong reporting and photography skills. Proficiency using InDesign is a plus. Duties will range from covering government entities and community events to featuring the people and places of our coverage area, as well as pagination.

Inland Media Co. focuses on strong print publications while continuing to grow our social media and web presence in the county seat cities of Fairfield, Mt Pleasant and Washington, Iowa. Our publications are Monday - Friday p.m. dailies with four-person newsrooms.

A competitive salary, excellent benefits and advancement potential awaits you in one of our three southeast Iowa communities. Send resume and recent clips to or Washington Evening Journal, c/o Darwin Sherman, 111 North Marion Ave, Washington, IA 52353.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sports Writer opening

Sports Writer
Le Mars, Iowa

The Le Mars Daily Sentinel has an immediate opening for a sports writer. The ideal candidate will have sports writing and photography skills and bring a teamwork approach to the two-person sports department covering high school sports at seven public and private schools. Applicants may submit resumes to the Daily Sentinel editor at

For information on the paper, visit

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Internship, Algona Upper Des Moines

Newsroom Internship
Algona Upper Des Moines, Algona, Iowa

The Algona Upper Des Moines seeks a newsroom intern for May through August 2013. The intern will meet with business leaders in the Algona area and write up to 100 stories for the annual Progress sections.

The intern should be a self-starter, eager to learn how to write under deadline, enjoy meeting and interviewing a wide variety of people and be familiar with AP Style.

To apply, contact Mindy Baker, 14 E Nebraska Street, P.O. Box 400, Algona, IA 50511; by email at; or by phone at 515-295-3535. For more information, visit the paper's website at

Journalism Internship, Albia (Iowa) News

Journalism Internship
The Albia (Iowa) News

The Albia (Iowa) News seeks a journalism intern for the summer of 2013. Applicants should be familiar with news and feature writing, Quark pagination and news and feature photography. Applicants should have skills in writing, photography and some layout and design.

To apply, contact Dave Paxton, 109 Benton Avenue E #111, Albia, IA 52531, email or call 641-932-7121. For more information, visit the paper's website at

Advertising Internship

Advertising Sales and Design Internship

The Akron (Iowa) Hometowner

The Akron (Iowa) Hometowner is seeking an advertising sales and design intern for the summer of 2013. The ad sales intern will contact advertisers, sell advertising and some graphic design as required. Knowledge of InDesign is helpful but not required.
The start and end time of the internship is negotiable. To apply, contact Julie Ann Madden, The Akron Hometowner, 110 Reed Street, P.O. Box 797, Akron, IA 51001, via email at, or by phone at 712-568-2208. For more information on the newpaper, visit

The Akron, Iowa Hometowner

2013 Summer Journalism Internship
The Akron Hometowner, Akron, Iowa

The Akron (Iowa) Hometowner seeks a reporting/editorial intern to help cover events and meetings in Akron, write feature stories, assist with the paper's pagination and various other duties that may arise at a small weekly newspaper.

The internship is intended for summer, but start and end times are negotiable. Candidates should possess good grammar, knowledge of InDesign and solid reporting skills.

To apply, contact Dodie Hook, The Akron Hometowner, 110 Reed Street, P.O. Box 797, Akron, IA 51001, via email at, or by phone at 712-568-2208. For more information on the newpaper, visit