College journalism students: Apply now to be the American Press Institute Summer Fellow for 2016

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 created a guide to commenting practices and analyzed how news organizations should use voice on social media.

The project could relate to a range of topics — mobile news, social media, analytics, revenue opportunities, or some other area of strategic importance — but we value ones that are practical in nature, draw on the applicant’s background, contribute something new to the industry, and can realistically be completed during the summer.

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


  • 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


  • 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 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. 17.

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 Newspaper Association of America. 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.