Journalism students face tough times landing internships

One of the casualties of the economic downturn in the media industry is internships.

Interning at a news outlet is often the career path to a full-time job for journalism graduates. But students coming to the end of their courses and hoping for paid summer internships are facing lean pickings.

Several newspapers in Canada such as the Hamilton Spectator and the Chronicle Herald have already cut their internship programs, while others such as the Toronto Star are scaling back.

Instead there is a trend towards unpaid internships,which will come as little relief to students saddled with years of university debt.

What will help is having a range of journalistic skills and being able to work across media.

As Gerry Nott, the editor-in-chief at Canwest News Service, notes on J-Source:

It is a tough market, getting into the newspaper business right now. Anybody who has ambitions for traditional print journalism jobs, I don’t think they exist anymore.

Journalism education needs to evolve to take account of the changing nature of the news industry, recognising that students need to be proficient in text, audio, video and online.  Having a diverse range of abilities and skills is simply becoming a prerequisite for journalism students.

Post Author: Neil Black