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Engage your community in 2017 with journalism internships

Feb. 1 is the deadline to apply for the first IDX in ATX internship. It’s one of three national paid internships that GateHouse Media will award this summer.

IDX stands for integrated design experience. ATX is the hipster acronym for Austin. Our version of alphabet soup has a talented designer spending 75 percent of the internship working on digital storytelling and 100 percent of weekends playing in Austin.

What a rough gig for a 20-something.

There is more good news that we’ll announce next month. We’ve identified a talented college journalist to become GateHouse Media’s first investigative reporting intern.

Now, better news. It’s up to editors to make their case for a summer intern. As we mentioned in an earlier post on our 2017 initiatives, we’re awarding a community journalism internship to spend the summer in a GateHouse Media newsroom. (Our thanks to Rockford’s Mark Baldwin for this great idea.)

Here is what editors should do:

  1. Identify an area resident who has the desire and chops to become a community journalist. (We’re not limiting your search to promising college students. Maybe you know of a longtime community member who has an interest in a career change.)
  2. Email Jean Hodges ( with a copy of the intern’s resume and a 500-word description of how you’ll structure the internship. How will you mentor the intern? What will the intern do during the 10-12 weeks? What digital opportunities or in-depth reporting efforts will you provide?
  3. Get this to Jean by March 1. (We’ll send reminders. And bonus points if the intern has an online resume.)

A double-secret committee (Jean, Tim Schmitt, me, and a couple of distinguished editors) will select the winner. Judging criteria will be based upon the editor’s internship plan, how well the newspaper performed in Inner Circle during 2016, and the candidate’s potential for success.

We encourage candidates who reflect the diversity of their community. Smaller newsrooms also can expect extra enthusiasm points from the double-secret selection committee.

The interns will be paid competitive wages reflective of the market. Translated: Editors won’t have to worry about the budget implications.

Our goal is to identify promising journalists who embrace the two priorities we’ve established for newsrooms:

1) Do journalism with impact.

2) Embrace our future.

The three internships, I hope, show our commitment to journalism and the future.

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