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Media content editor, Bill Elsen, advises students on internship opportunities

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

The Feather staff traveled to the JEA/NSPA High School Journalism Convention in Anaheim to teach and learn from other journalists, April 25-27.

As students finish the school year, summer internships help aid their student career choices and are an important part of the high school experience.

Through networking with professionals, acquiring hands-on skills and gaining self-confidence, internships allow students to define their career goals.

The Feather staff traveled to Anaheim, CA, for the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention, April 25-27. During the Saturday session, senior editor Addison Schultz, ’21, and journalist Morgan Parker, ’21, interviewed Bill Elsen, editor-in-residence for the conference.

Primarily an editor for 33 1/2 years at The Washington Post, Elsen also spent 7 1/2 years as a recruiter for The Post. Elsen discusses internships and job possibilities with students at journalism conventions and workshops.

Elsen entered the journalism world at age 15 as a sports writer for the Washington Daily News, a Scripps Howard tabloid. After attending a high school summer workshop a year later, Elsen was asked to return and teach a session, jump-starting his career as a news editor and recruiter. Today, Elsen is a content editor for Twice Media Productions, LLC.

Elsen works with the Associated Collegiate Press/National Scholastic Press Association to teach at college and high school journalism conventions and workshops. In those workshops, he advises entering internships to enhance chances for a future in journalism.

High school internships set students apart when applying to colleges and allow them to learn from professionals in the workplace. Below is a partial list of high school summer internships for summer 2019.

Dow Jones

According to their website, Dow Jones News Fund aims to promote careers in journalism in the digital age. Their website highlights many internships available all over America.

“Workshops are available nationwide for high school students and educators to develop the latest reporting, publishing and teaching skills.”

Addison Schultz | The Feather Online

Senior editor Addison Schultz, ’21, (left) and journalist Morgan Parker, ’21, (right) interview  Bill Elsen, former director of recruiting at the Washington Post, to learn about media internships and journalism.

The Dow Jones News Fund offers a range of classes for 34 states on the fundamentals of journalism including editing, publishing and reporting skills. In California there are five options including the California Scholastic Press Association workshop in San Luis Obispo on the Cal Poly campus. The application deadline for this 13 day workshop is July first with the class starting July 7-19, 2019.

Columbia University

The Columbia Scholastic Press Association workshop offers sequences focused on either writing, editing, management or advanced design while learning on an Ivy League campus in New York. On the official website, students will take part in exploring journalism at the workshop.

“Improve your skills, rethink your publishing strategies, and take your media game to the next level. A five-day intensive program.”

Hosted by Columbia University, the CSPA will be hosting a summer journalism workshop in New York City, July 23-28. The program includes a week-long conference based on writing. A waiting list will be started after 200 students enter their applications.

Stanford University – Newsroom by the Bay

Mixing 21st century digital literacy with basic journalism training, Newsroom by the Bay participants learn leadership skills and team building exercises. The website includes an introduction to their program.

“Award winning journalists and educators blending journalism basics and modern technology. Grounded in the idea that students learn best by doing. A digital journalism program for high school students.”

Along with occasional Feather journalists, high schoolers attend this eight day session to work with others while learning in a college environment. Professional help and devices are provided along with trips and activities. Attend this session June 30-July 7.

USC Annenberg School of Journalism

The University of Southern California Annenberg School of Journalism challenges students to experiment and implement their experiences into their own newspapers. Balancing academic and student life prepares attendees for college as stated by the program’s website.

“USC Annenberg extends a tradition of excellence to outstanding high school students through its unique 4-week summer immersion courses. Accepted students will balance academic and campus life as they prepare for college in a global center for culture, media, entertainment and sports.”

Located in Los Angeles, California, USC provides two four-week long courses for high school students. The options include digital news reporting and sports journalism.

In the following podcast, Morgan Parker interviews academic advisor Evangelina Tello about internship opportunities for students.

Walter Cronkite School of Journalism

The Walter Cronkite Institute of High School Journalism equips students with website and publishing skills, June 2-14. Applications were due March 8 and are now closed. The institute’s web page shares information on the experience at the school for aspiring journalists.

“A two week summer institute. Every summer, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication brings top-performing high school students to ASU for two weeks of intensive, hands-on experiences in broadcast and digital journalism.”

Director of the Institute of High School Journalism at Arizona State University’s Cronkite School of Journalism, Anita Luera develops a program that allows students to experience day-to-day journalism. Luera shares how her program develops quality communicators and media journalists.

“My program will give you the opportunity to experience journalism as it is practiced in the real world,” Luera said. “You the get the chance to come up with your own story ideas, set up in person interviews and work with video equipment. I think that we have a great program because of the real-life experience, the faculty that we bring in to teach our students, the opportunities to work with professional journalists and learning from those who are practicing it day-to-day.”

ENP is a Fresno organization which helps promote service opportunities in the San Joaquin Valley. Fresno Christian has partnered with them on Serve Day for many years.

Medill Northwestern Journalism Institute

According to their website, the Medill Northwestern Journalism Institute allows students to learn from accomplished journalists while gaining practical experience in the field.

“We immerse ourselves in media for five weeks. We study writing, reporting and editing for print, digital and broadcast. We take pictures, edit videos, and create websites and podcasts.”

June 30-August 2, high schoolers collaborate while working on developing their strengths in journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. The application due date has passed, March 18.

Advice on building resources

When applying for internships, a resume outlines a student’s ambitions and allows an employer to glimpse into the life of the student. Participating in clubs, community events, or local organizations expands a resume and shows commitment.

In the following tweet, journalists Morgan Parker, ’21, and Addison Schultz, ’21, interview Bill Elsen about the importance of media today.

Elsen plans to teach at the University of Minnesota in the College Media Mega Workshop this summer. As Elsen attends conferences and interacts with students, he advises them on internships and journalism opportunities. He recommends building a website so recruiters can observe a student’s resume, experience and photos all in one place.

“A website is valuable because when it comes to applying for jobs or internships, you can tell the recruiter or the hiring person, this is my website,” Elsen said. “A person can go there and find your resume and stories, photos, or videos. It’s like a one-stop shop for the people looking for interns. Certainly by the time you get to college, develop your website.”

In building a resume, applying for internships and networking with professionals, the goal is to gain experience. Many internships are earned by connecting with professionals in the community and local areas.

Elsen advises young students to start small when looking for summer opportunities. Students strive to write for prominent newspapers, but as a former recruiting and hiring editor, he suggests working for a weekly paper to develop writing skills and professionalism.

Paige Provost | The Feather Online

Photo editors Kaylie Clem, ’19, (right) and Julia Fikse, ’19, (left) teach on how to utilize an Instagram account in an April JEA/NSPA session.

“Getting internships is obviously harder in high school,” Elsen said. “For those interested in journalism, it’s important to work on some school publication when you get to college as a freshman. That’s what recruiters look for. Plus, eventually try to get an internship in the summer. Apply to work for the paper and build some websites. Try to learn as much as you can about both.”

Campus academic advisor Evangelina Tello recommends internships for students who are interested in a specific field. As students build their resumes, Tello encourages high school students to apply for internships to learn professionalism.

“I think it’s great for students to get out of their comfort zones and take advantage of their time this summer to start the career path they like,” Tello said. “Networking and communication is huge. I know some students who talked to their dentists, doctors, family friends, or church and asked if they’re offering any internships in their field.”

Publication Organizations

Two college media groups – College Media Association and Associated Collegiate Press join forces for the Mega Workshop and one convention each fall. CMA has a spring convention each year in New York.

Two high school media groups – Journalism Education Association and National Scholastic Press Association – join for two annual conventions, one in spring and the other in fall.

No matter the career path or field, high school internships and workshops give students a glimpse into the world of a professional. As students take interest in different careers, internships present opportunities for networking, connection, and growth.

For more articles, read World-class photojournalist travels, shares stories from around the globe and Ronnie Peterson shares high hopes for last baseball season.

Addison Schultz can be reached via email and via Twitter.

Morgan Parker can be reached via Twitter and email.

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