Polygence blog / Education and College Admissions

Journalism Career Paths & Internship Opportunities

5 minute read

Ever dreamed of having a journalism career where you tell stories that jump off the screen or airwaves? A journalism degree might just be your ticket to doing just that. Picture reporting live on TV or producing documentary-style segments—broadcast journalists play a big role in shaping how we see the world and keeping our communities in the know. 

Journalists are the storytellers, the truth-seekers, and oftentimes the watchdogs of democracy. Pursuing a degree in journalism is not just an academic endeavor; it is an exploration of the power of mass communication and the impact of information on society. In this post, we delve into the diverse array of career paths that open up with a journalism degree, ranging from traditional news reporting to the dynamic realms of digital media and beyond.

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What do Journalists do?

Graduates with a journalism degree may find themselves working for esteemed newspapers, magazines, or broadcast networks. Whether reporting from the frontlines of global events or investigating local issues that matter, journalists have the power to shape public discourse and drive positive change. The ability to research, write compelling narratives, and present information objectively are skills honed throughout one’s time as a journalism major. 

Below is a list of potential career paths with a journalism degree: 

- Broadcast Journalist

- Digital Media Producer

- Magazine Writer/Editor

- News Analyst

- Photojournalist

- Investigative Reporter

- Copywriter/Content Writer

- Public Relations Specialist

- Social Media Manager

- Multimedia Journalist

- Editorial Assistant

- Foreign Correspondent

- News Producer

- Sports Reporter

- Documentary Filmmaker

- Content Strategist

- Freelance Writer

- Radio Host

- News Editor

- Media Relations Specialist

Journalism Internships for High School Students

Finding specific high school journalism internships can be challenging, as many internships in journalism are geared toward college students or recent graduates. However, some organizations offer programs or opportunities that may be suitable for motivated and passionate high school students interested in a journalism job. Keep in mind that availability and eligibility criteria may vary, so it's essential to check the respective websites for the most up-to-date information. Here are a few options to explore:

1. PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs

PBS NewsHour's Student Reporting Labs provides resources and mentorship for high school students interested in journalism and reporting. While it may not be a traditional internship, it offers educational materials and opportunities to create news stories.

2. The New York Times Student Journeys

The New York Times offers educational programs, including Student Journeys, which provide opportunities for high school students to explore journalism, media, and storytelling. I wrote another article on a similar topic, titled “The School of New York Times Gap year program”. This Gap Year Program is designed for students looking to explore their passions, delve into real-world issues, and gain valuable insights into various fields. It goes beyond traditional classroom learning, providing participants with the opportunity to engage with industry professionals, experts, and thought leaders.

3. NPR Student Podcast Challenge

NPR's Student Podcast Challenge is an annual contest that invites students in grades 5-12 to create and submit original podcasts. While not an internship, it's a hands-on opportunity for high school students interested in audio journalism.

4. C-SPAN StudentCam

C-SPAN's StudentCam is a documentary competition for middle and high school students. While not an internship, it provides students with the chance to create short documentaries on current issues.

5. Local News Outlets

Check with local news organizations, newspapers, or radio stations in your area. Some may offer opportunities for high school students to contribute as interns or contributors, especially for community-focused stories. Remember to explore opportunities beyond formal internships, such as participating in school publications, creating a personal blog, or contributing to local community projects. While they may not be labeled as internships, these experiences can still provide valuable exposure to journalism and open up that career path.

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Undergraduate Students Internships in Journalism

Below is a general list of organizations and types of internships that often exist in the field of journalism. Although most of these opportunities are for current undergraduates, high school students in their senior year can sometimes qualify. Please note that eligibility criteria and application details can change, so it's crucial to check the respective career pages for the most up-to-date information.

1. Reuters Journalism Internship Program

Reuters Journalism Internship Program is typically open to undergraduate journalism students or recent graduates with a strong interest in news reporting. It provides hands-on experience in various aspects of journalism, including news writing, editing, and multimedia reporting.

2. CNN Internships

CNN offers internships across different departments, allowing students to gain insight into broadcast journalism, digital media, and news production.

3. The New York Times Internship Program

The New York Times provides internships in reporting, editing, and other areas, allowing interns to work with seasoned journalists and contribute to news coverage.

4. BBC Journalism Trainee Scheme

The BBC Journalism Trainee Scheme offers hands-on experience in various BBC News divisions, fostering the development of new talent in the field.

5. ProPublica Emerging Reporters Program

ProPublica's journalism program aims to provide opportunities for emerging reporters to work on investigative projects under the guidance of experienced journalists.

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Making A Positive Impact

A journalism degree offers a gateway to a world of impactful storytelling and truth-seeking. Beyond academic exploration, it delves into the profound influence of words and information on society, shaping aspiring journalists into storytellers equipped to investigate global events and shed light on local issues. High school students passionate about journalism can explore hands-on experiences through various programs that provide immersive experiences across various facets of journalism, reflecting the dynamic evolution of this field.

If you’re looking for additional opportunities in journalism and writing, check out our related articles: