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College journalism students: Apply now to be the American Press Institute Summer Fellow for 2017

The American Press Institute offers a paid summer fellowship for college students or recent graduates who have a strong desire to advance innovation in news organizations.

Unlike a summer internship, a core component of the program is a self-proposed fellowship project. We’re looking a student or recent grad who can envision building something from start to finish — such as a tool, resource, or guide — that would help news organizations make decisions in critical areas of their work.

Applicants should outline a proposed fellowship project they would like to complete with API’s guidance during the 12-week program — examples include an information-gathering project, a written report, a small technology development, or any other effort that would help news organizations solve problems they face. Previous fellows have studied what elements get readers to engage with longform journalism and analyzed how news organizations should use voice on social media.

For 2017, we are encouraging fellows to propose projects within one or more of these three categories:

  • Audience behavior and analytics. Digital insights can drive better newsroom decision-making on what to cover and how. What would be helpful to media leaders looking to better use data to inform their journalism?
  • Diversity and empathy. While the digital age promised unity, we’ve seen division nationally and locally across racial, ethnic and socioeconomic lines, among others. What efforts could newsrooms pursue to improve the diversity of their staff, their thinking, and their news coverage?
  • State and local accountability reporting. What strategies could local media adopt today to improve their watchdog journalism? Particularly in ways that are closely tuned to the information needs of their communities?

Your project could also relate to other areas of strategic importance. We value ideas that are practical in nature, draw on the applicant’s background, contribute something new to the industry, and can realistically be completed during a 12-week fellowship period.

In addition to completing his or her own fellowship project, the fellow will gain valuable experience in media innovation through involvement in American Press Institute programs, which include groundbreaking research about news audience behavior, emerging revenue models for news, and fostering processes of transformation and innovation within legacy news organizations.

We’re a small staff, so the Summer Fellow becomes an important part of the API team. This is a position for students with high levels of initiative, analytical thinking and ambitious ideas about inventing future models of journalism. The ideal applicant has experience in practicing or studying journalism or related fields, obsesses about how people get news, and has an itch for exploring new ideas.

The fellow will benefit from growing and publicly demonstrating their expertise in the subject of their fellowship project, as well as from immersion in API’s groundbreaking work and exposure to the influential leaders and innovators across the news industry who work closely with API.

Fellowship duties include:

  • Completing a fellowship project that advances innovation or understanding on an important challenge faced by news organizations
  • Contributing to API editorial content, including Good Questions Q&As
  • Assisting with API Thought Leader Summits, training, and other events
  • Participating in other API research, programs and consulting activities

Requirements:

  • Current student (undergraduate or graduate) or recent graduate in a field of study related to journalism, communications, or technology
  • Demonstrable interest in journalism research, training and strategy
  • Strong analytical thinking skills to spot trends and identify new concepts
  • Good communication skills and ability to thrive in a collaborative work environment

Details:

  • The 12-week fellowship includes a $7,500 stipend. Start date is flexible depending on the fellow’s academic calendar, but expected to be on or around June 1.
  • Reports to Executive Director and works with API staff
  • Office location: Arlington, VA (Metro accessible)

To apply, send an email to jobs@pressinstitute.org including: 1) a resume, 2) a letter explaining your qualifications, your desire for this role, and outlining your fellowship project idea, and 3) references. Use “API Summer Fellow” in the subject line. Applications should be submitted as soon as possible, and no later than Jan. 16.

About the American Press Institute

The American Press Institute conducts research, training, convenes thought leaders and creates tools to help chart a path ahead for journalism in the 21st century. The Press Institute is an educational non-advocacy 501(c)3 nonprofit organization affiliated with the News Media Alliance. It aims to help the news media, especially local publishers and newspaper media, advance in the digital age. For a better sense of what we’re interested in, try our daily newsletter, Need to Know.

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