Frequently Asked Questions
There are 5 main components of the NJC application.
- Application (which can be completed online here)
- Cover Letter
- 2-3 Writing Samples (of 5 pages or less; news clips preferred)
- An official college transcript is required upon acceptance into the program.
IMPORTANT: Applications will NOT be reviewed until all supplemental materials are received, and candidates will not be accepted into the program with any outstanding materials.These materials can be emailed or mailed to the NJC office.
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail to: National Journalism Center
RE: Internship Application
11480 Commerce Park Dr
Reston, VA 20191
References can be professional, academic or personal. Please include the name of each reference, their affiliation, their relationship to you, their email address, and their phone number. A total of three references are required.
You do not need to submit letters of recommendation; full contact information for your references is preferred. You may submit reference letters if you choose, but only in addition to submitting detailed contact information for your references.
Ultimately, we would like interns to have published news clips that best exemplify your talents as a news reporter, however, we recognize that some candidates might not have news clips. If you do not have published material, please send us an academic sample that clearly demonstrates your writing ability (no longer than 5 pages). If you are sending academic samples, we recommend sending samples from courses that would relate to an internship in Washington, including papers on public policy, economics, business, communications, or journalism.
The National Journalism Center seeks candidates that are dedicated to becoming a more responsible reporter, combating media bias, and developing as a journalist. The most competitive applicants will have demonstrated some previous interest in journalism, either working for their college newspaper, starting their own news blog, or participating in another media internship.
Yes, we do accept other social science majors. Many of our past interns have been pursuing degrees in history, political science, economics, and philosophy.
NJC typically accepts college juniors, seniors, and recent graduates. We do, however, accept some exceptional college freshmen and sophomore applicants. At this time, we do not accept high school students.
We have taken some interns from foreign countries in the past, however, securing an intern visa can be a long and difficult process. For this reason, we limit our acceptance of foreign applicants.
When you have submitted all components of your application, your materials will be reviewed by the NJC staff. If we feel that you could potentially be a valuable asset to the NJC program, we will contact you for a series of interviews with staff members. Please note that not all applicants will be granted interviews.
Applicants will be notified of their status with the program as staff reviews applications.
- Is there any cost to participate in the program? Do interns receive a scholarship for their participation in the program?
There is no cost for interns to participate in the National Journalism Center program. In fact, interns receive a $1,200 monthly stipend which is pro-rated for partial months. Interns frequently use part or all of their stipend to pay for housing, food, and transportation while in Washington.
NJC itself does not provide housing, however, we do provide you with resources to help you find housing in the area. Housing guides are emailed to interns upon their acceptance into the program and NJC staff are available to answer any questions or concerns you may have about moving to Washington, D.C. It’s worth noting that most of our interns come from outside the greater D.C. area and typically have few problems finding housing–provided they start early. It is a very transient city; interns are coming and going at all times of the year, so there are no shortage of options for temporary housing.
Participants will be notified of their media placements a few weeks before the program begins. Some media organizations will contact NJC interns for interviews or to set up logistical information. Please note that these interviews are in conjunction with the NJC program and are not separate internships. Everyone will be notified officially about their placement and provided with contact information for their supervisor during orientation, if not sooner.
We take your career interests, previous experience, and your suggestions into consideration and match you with a partnering media outlet at which we believe you will best thrive.
- I will be taking classes at school while participating in this internship. Can I do the NJC internship part-time?
Most NJC interns participate in the full-time internship; however, some interns taking classes may participate in the program part-time if arrangements are made with NJC staff in advance.
Interns typically spend between 30 and 35 hours per week at their media placements, and also participate in the NJC weekly training seminar. Because news is not 9-5, your internship placement may require you to work some nights or weekends.
The seminars include journalism skills training, writing and grammar exercises, reading assignments, and current events discussions. Each seminar typically features guest speakers, either prominent journalists or public policy experts who will share their insights into the industry or resources for journalists to take advantage of. These sessions are designed to give interns a better understanding of media, society and public policy, and the intersection between the three here in Washington, D.C.
NJC provides you with the opportunity of a lifetime and can further your career in journalism. Through our hands-on internship program, you will work alongside some of the best journalists in the D.C. area. During weekly seminars, participants will learn how to advance their writing skills and make themselves more marketable to prospective employers, and will gather invaluable knowledge and extensive training to pursue future careers in media.