Internship and Reporting Grants Program to Fund Paid Opportunities for Graduating Columbia Journalism Students | Columbia Journalism School
white crown on blue background

Internship and Reporting Grants Program to Fund Paid Opportunities for Graduating Columbia Journalism Students

At a time when the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 epidemic continues to affect students and employers across the nation, Columbia Journalism School is collaborating with two non-profit news organizations for a second year to provide graduating students with paid internships and reporting grants to support their transitions to professional newsrooms.

The Columbia Journalism School Internship and Grants Program will support as many as 29 full-time, 10- to 12-week paid internships at non-profit media companies through a partnership with the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN). Recent graduates will be placed at regional news outlets to cover local communities, as well as at national outlets, where they will work in international reporting. And separately, Columbia Journalism School is establishing a $50,000 fund, administered by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, to award individual grants to graduates so they can continue work on their theses or develop other freelance stories to be pitched for publication. These reporting grants will also fund local news reporting and international reporting.

The local news internships and reporting grants are funded by generous alumni of the school, and the international reporting internships and reporting grants are funded by the Simon and June Li Center for Global Journalism, a new center at Columbia committed to preparing journalists to work, think and report globally. Recipients of the international grants will be known as the Li Center for Global Journalism Fellows. The Scripps Howard Foundation is supporting four of these internships at Religion News Service to be administered through INN.

The new investments in graduating students complement existing postgraduate fellowships offered through Columbia Journalism School. These efforts recognize that students and newsrooms continue to need support as they cover the impact of ongoing news stories in the U.S. and elsewhere.  

“Skilled students entering journalism are needed more than ever,” said Steve Coll, Dean of Columbia Journalism School and Henry Luce Professor of Journalism. “These collaborations enable graduates to contribute to local and international reporting in a world deeply changed by the events of the last year.”

In the internship program, graduating students will work as reporting interns covering issues ranging from local to international, during the summer or fall months. In the collaboration, INN will arrange for some of its 300-member news organizations to recruit and select graduates from the class of 2021 into paid editorial reporting jobs.

"At a time when inequities in our society beg to be surfaced and solved and reporters are called on to cover rights under threat around the world, INN is grateful for the chance to help young journalists move into investigative, nonprofit newsrooms," said Sue Cross, INN’s Executive Director and CEO.

The Pulitzer Center will solicit proposals from the class of 2021 to report on enterprising stories focused on crises anywhere in the world.

Graduates could begin their internships as early as May, following graduation, though many likely will take place during the fall. Students in all of the school’s master’s degree programs, including international scholars, will be eligible to apply directly to the employers who will oversee their work.

"We very much look forward to supporting postgraduates from Columbia Journalism School and to ensuring that the fellowships are successful and rewarding experiences. The stories they tell will impact all of us in years to come," said Kem Knapp Sawyer, Director of the Pulitzer Center Reporting Fellows Program.

INN was founded in 2009 as an investigative news consortium. It works to strengthen the trusted sources of news by growing a network of nonprofit, nonpartisan news organizations. With more than 2,000 journalists in the INN network now generating some 150,000 original reports a year, the network’s news footprint is now similar in scale to NPR and the NPR affiliate network. INN members share news coverage, editorial and business resources and function as an innovation network developing new models for news media.

The Pulitzer Center, founded 15 years ago, is dedicated to raising awareness of underreported global issues through direct support for quality journalism across all media platforms and a unique program of outreach and education to schools and universities. The Columbia Journalism School is a member of the Pulitzer Center’s Campus Consortium, with an emphasis on support for the school’s documentary filmmaking students.