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Old 04-19-11, 12:47 AM
karenb1310 karenb1310 is offline
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Default Molding future newspaper people now rather than later

Arkansas Newspaper Foundation’s internship program
by ANF Board President, Byron Tate

The deadline is approaching for applying for the Arkansas Newspaper Foundation’s internship program, and we hope the process will be easier with the changes made in the application process.

The foundation board recently and discussed ways of getting more students and newspapers involved. The way the process was geared before required newspapers to apply and for students to apply, and then the foundation tried to put the two together. More times than not, it seems, the matchmaking efforts failed.

What was happening was that newspapers that wanted to be a part of the program couldn’t find students who wanted to work as interns in those locals. In the end, interested newspapers would be unable to participate basically due to a lack of interest from the crop of available students.

All of the above is still part of the program — newspapers still have to apply and will be chosen on a first-come, first-served basis, and students may still apply. And we at the foundation will still try to put interested students together with interested newspapers.

What’s changed is that newspapers also can locate their own student interns rather than applying for the internship program and hoping a student somewhere out there wants to work for them.

If you know of a student who is coming back home for the summer from college, for instance, and you want to put her to work as an intern in some part of your operation, that’s fine. In the past, the foundation required that an intern be in college, but we’ve broadened that to include students just out of high school who are planning on attending college.

We realize that “planning on attending college” is a bit shaky in terms of verifying college attendance, but the foundation trusts that newspaper executives will look for and find the most qualified candidates for these positions, and we’re not going to ask for a refund if Joe College, who is right out of high school and who had every intention of going to college in May, decides in August not to go. See, we’re really trying to make this easy.

If you are able to identify a student intern on your own, we’ll need that person to get in touch with us so the student can fill out an application.

The money basics haven’t changed. The foundation will provide $1,500, which is to be matched by at least $1,500 from the participating newspaper. We say “at least” because newspapers are certainly allowed to kick in more than $1,500. Out of that $3,000 (or more), newspapers are responsible for setting the pay and scheduling the student to work between eight and 10 weeks. At one newspaper last summer, the intern wanted to be paid a little less per hour so he could work longer and not extend past the total of $3,000 in compensation. Again, you are more than capable of working out the details.

Our goal is to put students who are interested in the newspaper industry as a profession into that line of work for the summer. The students gain valuable experience and maybe even decide if that’s what they really want to do, and the newspaper gets some needed help during the summer and maybe identifies someone it may want to hire full time down the road.

But you have to apply, and there are just four slots; so if you’re interested, get busy.

About the intern mentioned above — he graduated from college in December and is now working full time where he interned. Occasionally, our matchmaking efforts work rather well! Contact Karen Brown at karenb@commpub.com or download the host newspaper application form at http://www.arkansaspress.org/internships. Please disregard the deadline.
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