Western Michigan University Journalism Internships
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Guidelines & Procedures -- Printable version here

Internships provide advanced undergraduate students with an opportunity to apply and expand what they have learned in the classroom.

To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. be declared a Journalism major;
  2. be at least a junior status (56+ hours);
  3. have completed JRN 210 with a C or better.

To apply:

The following steps must be completed before the Drop/Add period ends for the semester in which you want to receive credit.

STEP 1:
Identify a news organization related to your interest (newspaper, magazine, radio station, television station, online publication). The internship MUST be at a news organization, not a public relations/marketing organization. In questionable cases, departmental approval is required. For assistance in locating an internship, check with the journalism internship advisor.

STEP 2:
Apply for an internship with the organization you have identified. If there is no formal application process at the organization you've identified, write or email the organization and inquire about its internship program or about creating an internship for you. Send a cover letter, resume and if possible, writing samples (they can be from a class assignment if you have no published work or scripts). Internships can be paid or unpaid.

STEP 3:
Be sure to review the Requirements section below to make sure your potential internship fits the journalism program specifications. If you have questions, seek advice from the current journalism internship advisor.

STEP 4:
Once you have identified an internship, print out a JRN 499 Internship Application Form HERE or pick up a hard copy outside the office door of the current journalism internship advisor. Fill out the student portion of the JRN 499 form and return it the journalism internship advisor for review and signature. You can return the form by putting it in the journalism advisor's mailbox. The advisor will contact you by email or phone to set up an appointment to finalize your internship. To avoid late enrollment fees, please submit your completed form one week prior to the start of a semester or session.


Journalism Internship Requirements:

  1. ONLY NEWS:
    Your internship must be within the news-producing area of an organization. Marketing and public relations positions do not satisfy the journalism practicum requirement. Conducting news research, information gathering and news content delivery are all acceptable.

  2. BEFORE, NOT AFTER:
    You must apply and be approved for your internship BEFORE your internship begins. You cannot complete your work at a news organization and then seek to receive JRN 499 credit.

  3. CREDIT LIMITS:
    Journalism internships can be from 1 to 3 credits. You are expected to work at least 40 hours for EACH hour of academic credit. You may schedule your time as you wish or according to the wishes of your intern supervisor. You may not have more than 6 credit hours of JRN 4990, COM 4990 or COM 3980. JRN 4990 is limited to 3 credits total.

  4. WESTERN HERALD INTERNS:
    Because the Western Herald is a student-run news organization, internships at the Herald are overseen by the Journalism Advisor in the School of Communication. Contact your advisor to set up regular meeting times to discuss your internship progress and performance. The Western Herald internships are limited in number. The Herald editors and Herald advisor have the right to determine that number and type of internship, as well as the recipients.


When Your Internship is Over:

  1. To receive a grade, you must produce a compilation of your internship work product. This can include published and unpublished clips; broadcast scripts; a CD of on-air work; a DVD of your stand-ups; pre- and post-edit pages, etc.

  2. Your internship supervisor must complete a written evaluation of your work at the end of the internship. It is your responsibility to secure the final evaluation from your supervisor. Be sure to request the letter from your supervisor at least two weeks before the end of the semester. The supervisor feedback form is available here as well as from the journalism internship adviser.

  3. During the Fall and Spring semesters, portfolios are due the Monday of the week before finals week. They will be available for pickup in the School of Communication office by Monday of finals week.

  4. Summer I and Summer II internships typically cannot be completed during the shortened summer terms. In these cases, you will submit your final portfolio and supervisor feedback form as soon as your internship is complete. Typically, you’ll receive an “Incomplete” grade until the work is submitted and evaluated.

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Journalism Internship Application Form

Use this application form -- in either Microsoft Word format or in Acrobat PDF format -- to apply for your WMU Journalism Internship. Please deliver this form to the Journalism Internship Advisor's Office when completed.

 

 
Find out how to apply for a WMU Internship. Return to the WMU Journalism Internship home page. Here are some tips for finding a WMU Journalism Internship. This section is for employers of WMU Interns. This section provides you with a listing of WMU Journalism Internship possibilities. This section of this site provides the contact information for the WMU Faculty Advisor. Here are some helpful tips for your work in a WMU Journalism Internship.